One of the most frequently asked questions from my clients is "how do I get my "to do" list completed"? It seems as if the to do list is a never ending list of tasks to be completed. Every day the list stares you in the face or you just plain forget about it. Sometimes I am just sitting outside and realize there is something I need to add to the list. Some of you have home and work to do lists which makes it even more overwhelming.
The first tip and the best and most effective way to complete a task on your "to do " list is to schedule it. Put it on your calendar as you would a doctor's appointment. Start with some easy ones to adjust to doing a task. Do not try to put all of the to do list on the calendar at one time. This will lead to failure and you will be in the same boat as you are now. Start with one task and one day. Make sure you complete it and celebrate the accomplishment. Move on to another task a few days later and continue as time allows. Once you have the hang of scheduling and completing a task on your to do list, prioritize and organize the list so you know the tasks that need completing sooner rather than later.
I know some items are difficult or too big to schedule on a day such as painting your deck or your entire room. Factors such as weather and enough time will hinder this and other tasks. Fortunately, not all tasks on your to do list are hindered by other factors other than that most of us just cannot seem to get them done.
The second tip is to start timing your tasks so you will better understand how long they are taking you. Nothing is more derailing then to have an hour scheduled for something and it takes 2 hours. You need to become more aware of your time. A good exercise is to write down everything you do during the day and how long you do each item. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning, get to work, grocery shop and read the paper. Doing this for a week will really open your eyes to how your time is spent.
The last tip is to review your list weekly to really make sure that all the tasks on the to do list are still relevant and if some can be assigned to someone else. If your to do list is a mile long, the reality is you will never get it completed and this will frustrate you to just not do any of it. Prioritizing them will help in this aspect as you will discover many tasks might be able to be delegate to others.