How To Get Through Your To Do List
1. Accept that you will always have “things to do”
I fooled myself for many years thinking if I just plowed through my to do list, especially one time tasks, that I would have more time. Instead, I learned to accept that sometimes are busier than others. I take a deep breath, assess what’s most important for today and the rest can wait. The same goes for the holidays and the long to do list; slowing down and being mindful can do wonders.
2. What does your ideal holiday look like?
Write a quick description: who, what, where, when and why? Also think about the things you would have to do in order to achieve this type of holiday. By consciously thinking about your holiday ahead of time, you can remind yourself of your larger goals when you’re buried in small tasks.
3. Make a plan
Sit down as early as possible and write down of all the different tasks you do yearly before and during the holidays. Reorganize these tasks into groups, ie. shopping/gifts, errands, home projects, social events, etc. By breaking your task list down into groups you eliminate the dauntingly long list, and become more efficient and focused.
4. How can you simplify your to do list?
Take time at the end of planning and organizing your holiday list to see if there is anything you can do differently. Be honest with yourself and take time to reflect.
Can you actually complete these tasks in the time you have?
Are there tasks that could be done way ahead of time?
Can anything be taken off the list that doesn’t match your main priorities (Step 2)?
5. Get into a Grove: Focus on one task at a time
I have less anxiety now that I schedule time to focus on similar tasks. This means that I plan an evening for gift buying only, and get it done that evening.
When working with clients we take the same approach by helping them find the times of the week that work best to do similar tasks. Focusing your time in this way prevents multitasking and wasting time.
6. Ask for Help!
You don’t have to be a superhero and do it all by yourself. If you can, get rid of a responsibility by offloading it to a professional, family member or friend. If finances are an issue, do an exchange with someone and make it fun!
Another way to offload a daunting task is to invite a group of friends over and do it together, ie. decorating, gift wrapping, preparing food.
7. Try a new mindset
Before you start a task, define your intention. This helps with focusing and not getting negative about something you’d rather not do, but needs to get done.
Get creative and find ways to get peace in doing your holiday to do list!
P.S. Stay tuned for the second November addition that walks through a specific holiday example!
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you.
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