Stay properly engaged with your to-do list
and it will help you manage your time and energy even better!
To get the most out of your organizational and time-management process, it’s important to refer to your to-do list every day.
Well, almost everyday.
You’re allowed to take a day off when you feel like it — that’s healthy and encouraged. You can even take two days off; however, my rule is: make sure you re-engage with your list within 48 hours.
5 Tips for Using To-Do Lists to Better Organize Your Life
Everybody falls off the productivity horse every now and then. Here are five tips to help you climb back on and get more done than ever before!
Tip #1: Reconnect with your List Every 48 Hours
As I mentioned above, everybody neglects their to-do list occasionally. However, mastering your organizational system requires persistent practice! If you go more than two days without your to-do list, you’ll find it harder to get back into your system. You want to keep yourself in the game.
You’ve done so well to keep your list this long, so why jeopardize it? You don’t want to develop any unhelpful habits that you’ll just have to struggle to break. Here’s some pointers to remind you why you’ll want to keep your to-do list going:
Tip #2: Understand that Building a Habit Takes Time
Forming a good habit (like keeping a to-do list) is a lot like building a muscle. It takes practice and exercise. If you stop for too long the muscle shrinks or disappears.
They say it takes at least 21 days to build a habit. That’s three weeks. When starting out try to stay engaged for the full three weeks, by the end of it you’ll be so used to referring to your list — it will be ingrained into you — that you might not even want a break anymore.
Tip #3: Remember Why You Arrived Here
Remember the reasons you chose to get organized in the first place. If you don’t feel like picking up your list, ask yourself why you started a list to begin with. You don’t want to end up wasting time and energy worrying about tasks or looking unprofessional because you forgot a task. You certainly don’t want to fall behind on work. Still wanna take a third day?
@danenow thanks Dane, needed those reminders just now. Now ready to focus!
— Hassan Mirza (@Hassanmirza) October 30, 2011
Tip #4: Prevent Your Own Obstacles
If there is a stumbling block that discourages you from getting on with your to-do list system then find a way to overcome it. My list runs from Monday to Sunday but come Monday morning I would find myself too busy to revise my list and print out a new copy so I put it off. To overcome this I now print at the end of the previous working week. This allows me to dive right in on a Monday and that obstacle is no longer there.
You know yourself and you know your weaknesses so anticipate that and prevent it from happening. It will be much easier.
Tip #5: Take a Longer Vacation from Your To-Do List (once in a while)
You must get back on the horse on the third day to ensure you continue with your list — unless you are on vacation. When on vacation, you are in another land and it’s best to fully enjoy that experience and be present with the people you love. When you are totally and intentionally out of your routine you can put your to-do list aside. It will only help energize you and make it easier for you to dive right back into your healthy habits and organizing techniques when you return home!
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