How do you stop your to do list from getting you down?
I love to do lists.
I run by to do lists. If it’s not on a list, it isn’t getting done to be honest. I’m also a big fan of checklists (take a look here for all the checklists I use and why) for any regular tasks each day/week. There really is nothing better than looking down at a completed list, is there? That sense of accomplishment is fantastic and I love it. Today however, I’m going to have a bit of ramble about when you don’t manage to get all those lists completed and I’ll apologise in advance as it really is a bit of a ramble.
I recently had to rethink my what my idea of ‘accomplished’ is when I review my week on a Sunday. How many days did I complete my daily tasks? Did I tick off all the to do’s in my planner? Did I clean the flat? When I was answering no to one (or all) of these questions I started to feel quite bad. I’d then start to think back over my week, picking out all the places where I’d wasted time or done sod all with my evening.
And while there were occasions where I’d been lazy there were other times where I’d just got home from work, pretty shattered, and just felt like relaxing instead of cleaning or working. After this happened a few times I became very conscious of getting everything done each week and if there were days where I hadn’t done any cleaning for example I’d be always thinking about what I’d have to do the next day to catch up and the knock on effects of that (usually something else getting bumped off the to do list for that day).
With the constant to do lists and cleaning trackers hanging over my head I then spent more time working out in my head how I was going to try and get everything done, and beating myself up when I didn’t get it all done more than I should have. It didn’t mean I got all my lists done and I certainly wasn’t enjoying any time I was relaxing.
I had to have a bit of a talking to. With myself. I had to tell myself that as long anything time critical got done everything else was a bonus. Obviously there’s a lot more than that that I want to do each week but as long as I did what I really needed to do, I should be happy. I should also make the most of any relaxation time or evenings out I have and not think about anything that needs doing back home like the pile of washing in the basket. That can wait as long as I have clean pants.
Since I’ve started thinking like that I’ve enjoyed my evenings and weekends more and sometimes I’ve actually got a lot more done. That’s is because in general I’ve been more relaxed and less stressed and thus needed less lazy evenings/days.
As I write this I do actually have a mountain of washing up but I’m choosing to spend this 30+ degree evening in the only room with a fan, making stickers and blogging. And that’s okay.
Hopefully that made some sense and apologies if it doesn’t but it’s a post I’d been thinking about for a while. I’m not too sure what I intended to say really, but this probably sums it up quite nicely: to do lists and checklists are great and brilliant for productivity. But don’t let them hang over your head and stop your life. Unless your car insurance is about to expire at midnight or something. You should probably go do that.
*ticks ‘write checklist post’ off to do list*