Do you ever feel like you just never seem to get through your to-do list? Does your lack of ability to check off all the jobs on your list make you feel WEIGHTED DOWN? Kind of like it sits heavily on your shoulders?
Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty that there’s so much work to be done, but yet you can’t seem to bring yourself to get through everything that’s on your list?
You sit staring at your computer screen: which is probably a mix of looking at your Emails and then at your To Do List and then at Facebook and then at your Emails and then at your To Do List… going back and forwards, round and round, sometimes you may even find yourself procrastinating on EVERYTHING.
To do list not done = guilt
Don’t feel motivated to get stuff done = guilt
Really just want to relax and ignore work for a while = guilt
Guilt. Guilt. Guilt.
Can you relate? I speak from personal experience, and whilst I still do find the guilt pushing itself in sometimes (particularly if I’m tired), but it does not rule my life like it used to.
The annoying thing about all of the above is that we put it ON OURSELVES. You have the power to change this.
I don’t know about you, but I just want to have a nice life! To enjoy what I’m doing, to be happy day-to-day going through the tasks. But what I’ve just described above, has the ability to complete destroy this day-to-day enjoyment.
So here’s a fresh perspective for you…
The To Do List will NEVER be done. Embrace it! Embrace the incompletion. And dare I say it… even ENJOY it. The fact there is so much on that list means there are things to aim towards, to achieve, to be satisfied in their results in the FUTURE. Everything being completely done is BORING. So stop trying to RUSH everything.
Some tactics to help with this…
- Try to allocate yourself less tasks on a day-to-day basis, so that you can still enjoy the satisfaction of getting through what you wanted to. There is no right or wrong for how much you should get through, and it’s most likely just YOU putting unrealistic expectations on YOURSELF that will end up making you feel guilty
- You actually don’t need to work a lot of hours to progress hugely. Working less hours, but more productively is more effective for most of us. So try putting ONE really IMPORTANT (not URGENT) task on your to do list each day (what I would call a STRATEGIC TASK) and if you can just do that one thing you will have moved your business forward that day – you can’t ask for more than that.
- You make the rules. Don’t compare yourself to others. Experiment with different hours / days / times of working and find out what works for you and when you are most productive… and then JUST work those hours! It’s amazing what you can achieve in even 1-2 hours of really focused work each day.
- Check your emails less! Check social media less! Personally I’ve found that it’s very effective for me to: check and reply to emails in one big hit each day (and then go offline and don’t look for another 24 hours), and do only 1-2 bursts on Social Media each day. This has made me so much less distracted throughout the day, and as a result more efficient… and therefore makes every day so much more enjoyable. I get through all of my tasks much quicker by doing this and am therefore able to tick off more of my to do list each day than I used to be able to.
- Do you find that sometimes you are really motivated, and at other times it’s the opposite and you Can’t Be Bothered (CBB)? THAT’S NORMAL. Give yourself a break. Listen to your body. Enable yourself to maximise on those inspirational bursts by also giving in to the ‘CBB’ time. Just give up for the hour, morning, day (whatever is required) to get you excited again. Go and binge on Netflix, have a nap on the sofa, go for a walk, go to the gym – whatever you feel like doing. Then when you do get the motivation again, your work will be so much more effective and efficient!
Always remember – You are the boss of your own life, not your To-Do List!