One of the first things Rose did after she could piece together words was write lists. She made her own morning to-do lists, evening to-do lists and all-the-fun-things-we’ll-do-tomorrow lists.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a list sort of gal too. Lists help me focus, keep important things from falling through the cracks, and give a sense of accomplishment. (Yes, I’m even one of those list-lovers who will add things onto my list I’ve already done, just for the joy of crossing them off.)
The trouble was, my lists were so long that getting to the bottom of them generally required a 48-hour day, uninterrupted effort (hah!), or some other impossible stroke of luck.
Enter the short to-do list.
Short to-do lists have all benefits of a superwoman to-do list, but have the added benefits of forcing prioritization and actually being attainable.
Instead of starting out the day with unrealistic goals, now each morning I pick out three of the things I’d like to accomplish that day. Things that are already worked into our morning or lunch routines (like washing breakfast dishes), do NOT make it onto the list.
Picking only three things and then concentrating on finishing them, helps ensure that the important things actually get done.
Some days things don’t go anything like what I planned. No big deal, the list can usually wait till tomorrow. But often by focusing on just three things, the list is knocked out by lunchtime, leaving the afternoon free to tackle three more things, read a book, or take a nap.
If you’re overwhelmed by a never-ending to-do list, ditch the long lists. It’s exhilarating!