I like making to do lists. What are things that I need to accomplish today? Take it when we have done some major moves over the past few years. I know that I have many things that I need to finish by the end of the month. I make a list and I try to go through them. It is never an orderly process. One does get sidetracked. One part of a project takes longer than you expect it to. Some distraction comes along that is always more fun than something on the should list. However, even if I don't follow it religiously, I do know that making a list and trying to follow it is an important part of any project.
Sometimes lists are not compiled well. In your haste you forget certain things. Sometimes lists are too daunting. There are just too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Sometimes lists go out the window. A sick child comes home from school, the dog develops travelling diarrhea or something like that. Sometimes point 6 of a to do list takes much longer than the the time we allotted to finish it. Sometimes something better comes along. Yes I know I have to do this but Bette Midler is on television tonight.
Here is my thoughts about managing to do lists. One be realistic. We are all given things to do in our lives, some we might enjoy and some we won't. However, I think the old maxim applies, "Anything worth doing is worth doing well." So if you are given the task of reading Tolstoy's "War and Peace," don't expect to do it in one sitting. Give a reasonable amount for the job.
Two, find one job on your to do list that you can accomplish and do it first. There is nothing more frustrating in having a list of umpteen different things to do and none of them are completed. Find something you can get finished from a long list and do it. That crossed off line on your list is a great inspiration to cross other things off your list.
Three, don't kick yourself if you don't complete everything today. You might have 6 things that need to get done today. Only four get done. As long as you haven't procrastinated, that is all right. There is always tomorrow. Things will get done in their own time. I am sorry for the procrastinators. If you have to complete a project and you estimate that it will take 50 hours to get done, and you are just starting it the night before, chances are no one will be satisfied with the final project.
Four, be willing to readjust your time frame. Some things will take longer. Some will not take as long as you think. Sometimes you will be inspired to do something in addition to (I am cleaning my closet, so why not the bedroom).
Fifth, remember the list is not the important thing. The final product is the most important thing. Don't spend so much time on lists that you don't have enough to do your project. Spend just enough time to develop a comprehensive list; don't spend so much time on your list that the actual workings of the project don't get done.
These five approaches are good ways to look at lists. Doing these five things might help us deal with our busy lives with less anxiety. The work is still there, but maybe we will be more organized to do it. Blessings.