Our lives are arguably busier than they have ever been before in history. We have too many things to do! As a result, our days can look insurmountable without the proper tools. We need to use the precious time we do have very wisely. We are constantly connected to each other via technology and never really separated from all that we have to get done. With all the tasks we have to accomplish in a day, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of everything that is required. The problem is that tasks usually do not consist of one action, but a series of actions to produce a desired result. One powerful tool that has existed since the dawn of chores and tasks, are lists. Lists are important insomuch as they can facilitate task completion. They help us organize and prioritize our day by giving an overview of all that is required. However, if the lists merely pile on top of each other, and serve to distract from something actually getting done, the lists defeat their own purpose. Use the list for good (getting things done) and not for evil (further procrastination).
There is good news though. List making need not be daunting. With the assimilation of smart phones and tablets into our lives, list making has become fairly painless. It can all be done on the go. You may even choose to do so on your commute to and from work. No longer do we have to rely on post it notes running rampant on our desks. It can all be stored on whatever piece of technology you decide to use. The grandfather of current smart phone technology is of the palm pilot, which was used solely for list making and appointment organizing. Take comfort in that! Smart phones were essentially designed for lists!
In regards to the content of lists, less is more. Break down your list to only the most essential tasks.
For example, if you were to take on the task of cleaning your desk, your list may look like this:
- separate paperclips
- organize paper files
- wash Tupperware
- throw out old files
- throw out old food
This is a silly and simplistic example, but we can all agree that the last two are not essential. You are not really going to look at your garbage and forget to throw it out. Why would you keep it? Only put the most important steps and leave out the obvious ones. Too many steps to complete a task lead to an overwhelming sensation. Break it down to essentials and get the job done! Simple as that!
Hopefully you were reading closely. Happy listing and don’t forget to add reading this blog to your list of things to do!