The Power of To-Do Lists

So my fear of the school run got the better of me before school resumed. I think I had pysched myself up so much that I began to be anxious. As evening approached and it was time to start preparing for the next day (see tips here), I was like a rabbit caught in the headlights. I would walk into the hallway decisively and stand around staring and trying to remember why I was there in the first place. There were so many things left to do and ideally I wanted to be in bed by 11. It was now 8 pm and not one thing had been done. My head was in a whirl. Then I decided to write down all I had left to do. Guess how many things made it on my list? THREE!!!!!!!

I only had three things to do and there I was walking around like someone that had a hundred and one things to get done. I had worked myself up so much thinking I would be up till 2am at least. In reality, I was up till midnight which was not bad considering how unprepared I was and that involved going out to the store to get snacks for school.

Seeing as I had some success with this on the homefront, I applied the same tactic at work because I had been getting a bit stressed with my workload. And it’s trick I learnt from one of my previous line managers. If I ever said I was stressed she would very annoyingly ask me to write down what I was currently working on. It always worked.  I end up seeing that I had manageable tasks before me when they are written down clearly. I never told her she was right though. 🙂

So I did the same yesterday and ended up with thirty things on my list and I feel more in control and able to start crossing them off -one at a time.  I work a lot with lists anyway, I couldn’t exist without them but sometimes it’s worth remembering that they really do have a use; particularly when you are as overwhelmed as I was.

Next I prioritised them.  Just red stars for me – nothing fancy.  No need for the urgent and important; important but not urgent malarkey. 🙂

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You don’t have to be anal about lists for them to work.  You just need to write them down and it makes things some much clearer and less overwhelming.  It definitely made the difference between a good day and a bad day for me.

If you don’t use lists, try it.

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