How to Turn Your To-do List into a Done List
Are you someone that has an endless list of to-dos that never get done. Do you have goals that never get completed?
Life doesn't need to be this way. You can get things done and achieve your goals.
The secret is…
To develop a strong relationship between your to-do list and your schedule. A to-do list and a schedule are two different tools that need to work together to support you in managing your time and will help you to complete your tasks and goals.
At first thought, they may seem similar, but they are, in fact, different.
1. To-Do List
A to-do list is a list that comprises of all the things you want to do in a given day, week, month, year or lifetime. It can include basic tasks like:
paying the bills,
cleaning the house
walking the dog
And it can also include more complex tasks and goals like:
going on holiday
writing a book
building a house
To do's capture tasks that don't have specific times allocated to them. You may assign a deadline to them; however, they are not bound to be completed by a particular time.
For example, to improve his health, Bill would like to lose 20 kg by the end of 2020. Bill writes this goal down in his goal journal and puts it aside. Bill has written his goal down on his to-do list and assigned a deadline to it.
It is now December 2020, and sadly Bill has not lost the weight he had hoped.
While Bill was able to note down the goal on his to-do list, he didn't allocate time each week on working on his weight loss goal; he didn't schedule.
A schedule allocates time to doing tasks it tells you what and when to do something. The most common things that go into our schedules are meetings and appointments; we add these to our schedules as a specific time has been allocated to them. For example, Bill has a dentist appointment on Wednesday at 11:00 am to 11:30 am, if Bill doesn't make it to the dentist at 11:00 am he will miss out on getting his teeth cleaned.
To get your to-dos and goals completed, you need to start scheduling in some time each week to work/complete on them. Below is a quick-start approach to getting started with scheduling:
Start by allocating your ongoing daily and weekly commitments into your calendar (e.g. dinner, cleaning).
Then start to add in Adhoc/ less frequent appointments (e.g. car service, dentist appointment).
Where you have gaps of time, you can start scheduling in time to work on you other task and goals. Big goals might need to be broken down into sub-tasks.
When doing your schedule, remember to allocate travel time. For example, Bill's dentist appointment while it may only go for 30 minutes (11:00 am to 11:30 am) with travel time it may take him an hour and a half (10:30 am to 12:00 pm). Going back to Bill's weight loss goal while he had this goal written down, he didn't schedule in time to work on completing it. Below is how Bill's weekly schedule could look to help him achieve his goal.
Click on image to enlarge.
You can see how time has been allocated in red during the week for meal prep and exercise, which aligns with Bill's weight loss goal. Stay tuned next month for a blog that explores scheduling in more details and some of the tools you can use to help you with it.
Both your to-do list and your schedule will be your greatest allies in getting things done. Scheduling will turn your to-do list into a done list. If you need some help with managing your to-do list and schedule let's have a chat to talk about how I can help.
Creating Positive Spaces
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Cover photo by Jacqueline Kelly on Unsplash