Simplify your to-do list

July 13, 2009

in Productivity

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Over the last 6 months my to-do list has been slowly, stealthily growing out of control.  I had been adding project upon project without consideration of my time constraints.  You might remember reading about my search for what it is I want to do with my life.  Each time I found something I enjoyed doing, I set off on a journey of discovery.  The problem was, I had so much going on, I was getting stressed just thinking about it.

I would look at my list and become so overwhelmed with the number of tasks on there that I wouldn’t know where to start.  So I’d procrastinate.  The more I procrastinated, the more overwhelmed and stressed I became.  Something had to give.

So over the weekend, I purged my to-do list.  I decided what was really important to me, being mindful that I only have time for a certain number of things, and deleted everything else.  It was hard at first.  My finger hovered over the delete key as my mind said, “NO! You need to do that!”  It soon turned to a feeling of liberation as the list shrunk more and more.

As it turned out, I don’t particularly enjoy everything that’s important – like doing the housework.  But these are things that I need to do for my own sanity (an untidy house makes me very cranky) and for my family.

Now my list is nice and compact.  I no longer feel like walking away when I look at it.  The feeling of stress has disappeared and I’ve got more done in the last few days than I have for weeks.

Is it time for you to take stock of what’s really important and let go of the other stuff?

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