Pare Down Your To Do List

There are a never ending list of resources to get organized and manage all the things that you’re doing. As in #allthethings. I see you, still hustling out everything even though you don’t have to. Wunderlist, Trello, Asana, and that stupid cute planner from Paper Source. I’ve tried them all and I’d almost take it to the bank that you have too.

There are a never ending list of resources to get organized and manage all the things that you’re doing. As in #allthethings. I see you, still hustling out everything even though you don’t have to. Wunderlist, Trello, Asana, and that stupid cute planner from Paper Source. I’ve tried them all and I’d almost take it to the bank that you have too.

But it doesn’t matter what system you’re using if you’re still staring at your to do list with a paralyzed look of horror on your face or ending the day and seeing that though you knocked 10 items of that list, you added 12 more. Womp womp. If you’re looking at a list that contains all the to dos for this quarter, let’s stop you right there. You do not need wiping the cieling fans off and your upcoming blog post on the same list.

Let’s talk about how to pare down your to do list to the shit that really matters and doesn’t make you ugly cry, as therapeutic as it may feel sometime.

Get a System

Easier said than done right? Or better yet, you’ve tried all the systems.

No, boo. If you’d tried it all or couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t be sharing this. Try this instead. Before deciding on a system that might work for the way your brain works (this is paramount by the way,) let’s actually get your to dos into the system of your choice in an organized and sane manner.

  1. Pick the system you want to try. I cannot recommend Trello enough. Period. It’s amazing. Do it. Yep.

  2. Take a look at your to do list with objective eyes. This can be super hard. But you need to stop looking at it like “I have to do all of this” and start looking at it like “All of this has to get done.” This is a small shift, but a huge change. Try saying it aloud. See? Feels good.

  3. Sort and organize everything as it is right now. We aren’t making a change here. We are sorting what we have. The best way to do this is to get it all out there on the table and break out those highlighters. Assign colors for parts of your life. Personal and business is a good place to start. You can always narrow this down more later.

  4. Put one week’s worth of stuff in your system. Why move in all the way if you’re not even sure it will work for you (she says, having all the Asana regrets with a great big sigh.)

How did it go? Love the system? Hate the system? Need something different?

Rinse and repeat, dear.

Pro tip: You can combine the digital and paper. Bullet journal and Trello all the way for me.

Focus On What's Really Important

Take everything that isn’t important off your to dos. And get that “everything’s important” stuff out of here. Start filtering your to dos based on what really fucking matters. What needs to get done today or there will be consequences? What needs to get done this week? What needs to get done this month? Start looking at your to dos through the lens of “If this doesn’t happen in [A TIMEFRAME], what are the consequences?”

See how dusting your ceiling fans just doesn’t play in the same field.

Pro tip: Run your to dos through this filter. Is anyone going to not have what they need? Is anyone going to be hurt? Is anyone going to die? No? Then it can wait.

Delegate

Now that you know how to test and try things out, test and try them out.

A huge part of this is delegation. Delegating out of your own realm can be magnificent. Can your husband cook? Better yet, can you afford $25.00 a week to have a night off and order pizza?

Decide where you can unload some of the tasks that congregate on your to do list.

Pro tip: Learn to ask for help. This is the number one way you are going to delegate and get some of the less important things off your plate and get a hand doing it. THIS IS HARD AS SHIT. But it’s really worth it and teaches that nothing can truly be done alone, something that I have had to learn the hard way.


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