Using checklists effectively
can improve your life
and create more time for play!
Anybody who’s great at being organized and getting a lot done (in comparatively less time than other people), probably uses checklists of some kind, as part of their own personal productivity system.
If you want to become even more organized and accomplished, it will help you to accept lists as a part of your daily time management routine.
4 Ways to Stay Organized
Everybody wants to be more organized, and the temptation is to look for external solutions. But in reality, what will most help us to get super organized — and stay super organized — are internal shifts. When we change how we see our time and our work, and when we upgrade our beliefs, feelings, and thoughts about getting things done, that’s when we’re truly poised to begin improving our daily habits!
1. Give Yourself a Permanent Hall Pass
What’s with the long face? Stop beating yourself up for not being perfect, and approach your list with a lighter, more-playful energy. Stay out of the shame zone — it’s a complete waste of your mental and emotional energy!
If you decide to experiment with using lists each day, give yourself permission to blow-off the lists on any day you’re not “not feeling it.”
This sounds strange and unlikely, I know, but the fact is that you will be more likely to stick with lists if you know you have the option to take a day off from your checklists whenever you feel like it.
If you’re going to take time off, at least enjoy it! If you want to take a day off, take a day off! Which leads me to…
“Your to-do list is not only not your enemy,
it would like to be your best friend!”
2. Use a Different Lens
Start looking at your lists with rose-colored glasses. When it comes to our task lists, what most of us need even more than a new system, is a new perspective.
What I suggest is: don’t resent the list, don’t rebel against the list, don’t feel oppressed by the list — because, hey, the list isn’t saying “you are a mess; look how you ignore me,” or, “I am the boss of you.” If you your list could talk, it would instead simply say: “I am a tool designed to help you. If you need me, I’m here for you.”
Your to-do list is not only not your enemy, it would like to be your best friend!
You can use a checklist for anything! You can have one for the personal chores you like to do every day at home, another for your daily professional tasks, one for your once-a-week tasks, and a to-do list for your one-time-only tasks. Whatever helps you to stay focused and on-track is worth trying!
3. Re-engage With Your Lists Every 48 Hours
If you can, try never to take more than two days off in a row from your lists. Keep yourself in the game, so that you don’t develop any unhelpful habits that you’ll just have to struggle again to break.
Yes, in Tip #1 (above) I advise you to take a day off whenever you feel like. Heck, take two, if you like. But try to climb back on the horse on day-three (unless you’re on vacation or recuperating), otherwise it’ll be that much harder to reconnect.
4. Trust the Process
Everyone has made a to-do list and then never looked at it again. So what? Big deal. Who cares? The process of writing the list is, in itself, clarifying.
The process of writing a list lets you dump out the worrying contents of your brain onto paper so that all the stuff doesn’t have to recirculate endlessly in your mind. Even if you never looked at the list again, it was still better to have made a list than to have never made one.
And those are my 4 tips. Are you energized? Feeling positive? Ready to take on your day — to create and achieve your goals?
What about next week? Have you taken a few minutes to plan out next week yet?