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Don’t Let To-Do Lists Run the Day

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Summary: Letting our to-do lists become so full that we are stressed before the day even begins and skipping corners just to get things marked off is a dangerous mindset that can be easily changed.

How often do we wake up each morning already feeling behind in work? Before we are even fully awake, we are cycling through our mental to-do list while our anxiety and stress levels are building. In order to fix this problem and be able to have a nice relaxing morning we need to change our thinking.

The way we approach our to-do lists are often wrong. When our to-do lists are forever growing, we get stuck in the mindset of “I’ll just do one more thing before….going to bed, eating lunch, taking a break, going home…” The list of things we put off to accomplish the items on our to-do list often end up becoming items on our list.

Do you get enormous satisfaction from being able to check something off the list, so enormous that it is all you can think about? Before long, checking things off become more important than the quality in which we complete the tasks. Then there is the stress that comes when you are not able to check something off as done. Don’t let being “done” with an item be the end goal.

When you change your mindset about your to-do list, you can realize that having a to-do list means you are busy and being busy means you still have a job. Once you have nothing to do each day, then it is a pretty good sign that there is no work to keep your job going and you should be concerned. Understand that things will get done and rushing through the things that matter to get done with an item isn’t going to save you much time. Slow down and make sure you are checking off items only once they are done correctly.

If you have so much on your to-do list every day that it is what consumes your life and your work, then you need to reevaluate and make a change. Don’t be afraid to delegate specific tasks to others like an assistant or other employee that is qualified and capable of completing the item. If you are the assistant or employee that is completely bogged down, then talk to your boss and let them know you have too much to handle each day. You may be able to determine that certain items that you were doing daily can be done weekly or bi-weekly.

Photo: dumblittleman.com

Don’t Let To-Do Lists Run the Day by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin