If you’re like the majority of us, you begin your day with a list of things you want or need to accomplish by the day’s end. The thing with to-do lists is that we tend to create them with the best intentions and all of the motivation in the world, however it is all too easy to fall short of our ambition come the end of the day.
One mistake so many of us are guilty of when we create our to-do lists is getting too crazy with our goals. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious, but you don’t want to go setting yourself up for failure, either. Keep it short, simple and most importantly- doable.
Once you get into the habit of setting yourself up for success, follow a few simple tips in order to keep yourself motivated, focused and on the right track.
- Write your list the evening before. This accomplishes two goals. You won’t be up at night worrying about all of the stuff you need to accomplish the next day because you’ve already written it down and gotten it out of your head. In addition, you won’t have to waste time in the morning brainstorming; you can get straight to it! Keep it simple. As we stated before, don’t over complicate it. Write down what you absolutely need to do first. Then you can add in some things you’d like to accomplish if you’ll have the time. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Get energized. Get yourself pumped up about it! Don’t look at the list as a pain in the butt chore that you want to put off until the last minute…or you will. Maybe you’re not super psyched about it, but think about how great you’re going to feel when it’s done. You can also give yourself small rewards each day when you accomplish your list, (lunch at your favorite spot, a nice walk, a drink after work, etc.) Prioritize. Make sure you get the most important tasks done first! We all know that sometime things come up, or sometimes we just crap out halfway through the list. Hey- we’re all guilty of those days. Knock off the most daunting task first. Some days you have that one thing on your list that you would do just about anything to avoid. Do that first. You will feel a million times better once that’s over with and you will breeze through the rest of your day. Re-evaluate halfway through the day. Always check through your list halfway through your day and make sure that all of the tasks are still relevant. Circumstances change and you may be able to check things off, or you may need to add something else. Give yourself a pep-talk. Pep yourself up halfway through your day. A lot of times we lose momentum halfway through the day, when we hit our mid-afternoon slump. Keep yourself going. You’re almost there! Toss it at the end of the day. If you have tasks that you did not accomplish, do not carry over the same list to the next day. That is a motivation killer and will just remind you that you didn’t quite hit your mark that day. If you still want to accomplish those goals, write them on your to-do list for the next day, and toss the old one. No one needs to carry old reminders of what we’ve failed to accomplish. On to a new day and make sure to get it done!
There is nothing more satisfying than putting a big fat check mark next to something on your to-do list. By putting a few simple tricks into place, you’ll be hitting your goals effortlessly, freeing up your time for even more goals!