Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Dreaded 'To Do' List

The list is getting longer every day. Have you ever noticed how that happens? You are finally able to cross two things off your ‘To Do’ list and four more are on it than when you started. It seems to keep growing and growing and growing.

Do we ever get to the end of our lists? Or do we continually increase our personal expectations? For me, I’m sure that part of the problem is procrastination. I cannot keep myself focused. I have difficulty with self-discipline. 

This is not an issue at my ‘day job’. The expectations are very well outlined and there are clearly defined penalties for not following through. I show up for work on time. I do the assigned tasks at the designated times. No problem. I can do it there, why not on my own time?

So, my question to the masses is this, ‘How do you keep on track?’ Do you lay out a strict schedule for yourself? Reward yourself when you accomplish things? What works for you?

Please share your ideas and tips. Leave a comment below.


  1. Because we tend to see our own time as the 'relaxing' one - and now we have added the expectation of a business in that personal time. Just deal the same way with it: penalties and bonuses included :) And make sure to not grow that list beyond your abilities to handle it!

    One idea that helps me (most of the time, at least) is to add time to each task: estimate how long it will take, then double it. That way you solved 2 issues:
    1. You cannot put a task that will take you 7 hours to finish in a 2 hour slot :)
    2. You might be able to finish earlier - and you'll feel better about it!

    1. I think that is one of my problems, a list so large it is beyond my ability to handle it. I like the idea of a timed schedule. Thanks for your tips and ideas, Alicia.

  2. Sometimes I find saying I'll do something that seems insurmountable for 10 or 15 minutes then give myself permission to stop gets me to start the task - and then i find out it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I find it easy to get overwhelmed when I try to do it all.

    1. That's a good idea, Yvonne. I do tend to get overwhelmed by the final outcome that I want to achieve, and get discouraged easily. Taking on a big task in small realistic chunks could be the way to go for me.