Thanks to the Internet, we are constantly interconnected to each other and our means of communication, among other things, is pretty solid. Interestingly enough, just because computers and phones have made life a lot more efficient, it doesn’t mean I have less to do whatsoever.
For me, it means I could do a lot more with my time. And the amount of stuff to do is essentially endless. There is no ‘off button’ to life and I embrace that. The amount of stuff to do will never end. We can’t just sit still for very long, there’s always something; we’ve got ladders to climb, people to see, highest selves to fulfill, and so forth.
Sometimes we make lists to help us out.
Think about the times you used a shopping list. Didn’t that make things much easier?
Instead of casually browsing the store aisles, if you have a list, you know what you want so you walk with purpose. If you get distracted, all you have to do is to look back at the list.
Life’s To Do List
So why make a list only when it’s time to go shopping? What about making the rest of your life as easy as that?
Our lives are full of potential and how will they ever be realized if we don’t jot down those awesome things we have to do? You don’t have to be the stereotypical “busy businessman” to use a to-do list, planner or calendar.
The same way you would walk with purpose through the super market, you could walk with determination and purpose throughout the whole of your life, making you much more productive and full of gratification.
How to start a to-do-list for LIFE (work, school, hobbies, etc!)
There is no best-way to go about doing these things since we are all different and there’s a million ways to do this, but there are several tips I could share to guide you.
1. Choose your medium and keep it simple.
Preferably, choose something you could take with you all the time and add to on the fly. I take advantage of the fact that I always have my phone with me and use my iPhone’s basic Notes program to maintain a list. Be wary of fancy apps or complex systems as they may easily take up more time to manage and maintain than is necessary.
If you don’t have a smartphone, go back to the basics and have a pen and paper with you. Sometimes there’s nothing better than jotting down tasks on paper and adding ideas as things pop into your mind throughout the day.
2. Keep your list visible or always on you! If you put away your to-do-list, you will probably forget about it.
If you decide to use your computer to maintain a list, keep the list open all the time. Purposely place a shortcut on your desktop, start menu, on the quick launch (or pinned to your taskbar in Windows 7) and keep the file open… get the idea? You keep your web browser open for countless hours at a time, so why not simply keep your to-do list open all the time as well? In other words, I’m telling you to practice the opposite of “out of sight, out of mind!”
3. Split your list into two sections: High priority and normal priority.
High priority items are things you want to get done urgently or today.
Normal priority items are everything else. Throughout the day, I often remember new things I want to do and get fresh ideas and I will immediately whip out my phone and add it into the list. Sometimes I’ll have a third section at the end which are super random but fun things such as “Find a tree to climb, go horseback riding, roller blade, etc”.
4. Do the most frightening or challenging task on your list FIRST.
Due to subconscious-self-sabotage, you will want to put off the hardest (or most frightening) task off until later (or forever). If you get that done first, you will not only feel great about yourself but the rest of your day will feel like a breeze.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step” – Lao Tzu
Just remember that with baby steps, anything is possible. If a task seems too daunting or overwhelming, break it down into smaller steps so that it becomes a lot easier to deal with. Once you build up some momentum, the inertia will carry you throughout the day and everything gets pretty awesome once you get in the zone.
It feels great to get things done in an efficient manner and there’s no reason to stress when a simple list can keep us on track and prevent us from feeling scatter brained. I would love to hear any tidbits you got that help keep your life organized since we all have our own perspective on things and can teach and learn from each other to lift each other up.