Prioritize Your Holiday To-Do List
If making to-do lists is your superpower (I definitely think it’s one of mine), your skills are most likely in hyper drive during this time of year.
The holidays probably have you juggling multiple to-do lists for your personal and professional lives—what to pack if you’re traveling, end-of-year client to-dos, business wrap-up action items and more. It’s enough to tax even the most skilled to-do list master simply from the sheer volume of things you think you need to accomplish by the end of the year.
Getting all that chaos out of your mind and onto paper is the first step to processing all that you need to do.
But the trouble when we write down ALL the stuff that needs our attention is it’s so easy to be overwhelmed because the list is soooooo long! We don’t know where to begin.
So, what do we do?
We start one thing only to get distracted by another thing on our list.
We find ANYTHING else to do but tackle our to-do list OR we pick the easiest thing on the list to accomplish and get going on that right away. While doing the easiest thing MIGHT allow us to cross one thing off our list, it doesn’t really do much to calm the overwhelm because our to-do lists are STILL packed with all the things we’re dreading to do.
So, what do I DO when I stay up late thinking about everything I need to do? First, I scream aloud—AHHHHHHH!
All it takes is 3 steps to stop the overwhelm.
- Brain dump: Write down everything you think you HAVE to do.
- Cull your list: Determine what YOU really HAVE to do on that list.
- Calendar: Put actionable items on your calendar NOW!
Let’s take a look at each step.
- Brain Dump
For the next 10 minutes, take everything from your brain and write it on your list. Don’t worry! You will have built a list within that time and if you forgot anything, that just means it isn’t that important for now. Did you remember to add personal items to the list? Give yourself a high five! If not, add them to your list now.
- Cull Your List
Have no mercy here. Ask yourself if you REALLY (I’m serious here) HAVE to DO IT ALL?
Be callous in your assessment. It is imperative that YOU have to drive to your client’s house THIS VERY MINUTE to drop off that accessory? Or, could you send someone else? Or, do it tomorrow?
Are the items on your list actionable?
If “create a new website” is on your list, that’s NOT actionable. Neither is “complete the remodel for the Smiths.” Each of these projects would have a bazillion tasks associated with them. THOSE tasks are the things that should be on your list.
Make a column to the left of your list and put a letter by each item. Here are your options:
[C] Calendar it
[D] Delegate it
[S] Stop doing it
You ONLY have three choices here. There is no “maybe” column. There is no “pondering” column. You must pick whether you will calendar it, delegate it or stop doing it. I KNOW you can DO IT!
If you have an idea that you can’t let go of, create a new document that is for future ideas. I keep one in my Notes on my phone and type it in as soon as I think about it, so it is not floating around on a sticky note somewhere.
- Put Actionable Items on Your Calendar
First, a little note about how you put actionable items on your calendar.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? What time of day are you most productive?
I calendar my to-dos in the morning, because I’m a morning person. I wake up ready to rock it (could be the coffee 😊). If you are a night person, go ahead and calendar your to-dos for the night hours.
Create Your List TODAY!
The longer you wait to start your to-do list with my system, the worse it will get. Each day as we race to New Year’s just means more on your plate.
Create your to-do list TODAY! To help make it super simple and quick, I have a download for you.
Once you do this exercise, you will feel so much better! Breathe in, feel the good mojo and ride the wave of motivation you’re on.