The Authentic Assistant

Think inside the box

Just make a to-do list. That sounds easy doesn’t it? It can also sound overwhelming

Wow there are so many things that you have to do and so many that you want to do.. How on earth can you even write a list? It would come out like the list that unrolls and never ends. Who wants to start something like that? Maybe I should just not start. Who else feels like that sometimes? 

Think outside the box

Who said anything about a box? We are talking about lists.

Don’t worry there are solutions to the problems and thinking about them in a different way is enlightening. 

Well one option is to have separate lists for different parts of your life. 

What does this mean?  It is confusing if you just take a piece of paper and just list the tasks one after another. How depressing is that? 

Do you have e.g. a yard and garden that you need to list the jobs that need to be done with either or both of these areas then make a list just for it. 

Having a list of the  tasks that need to be done for that specific area means you are more focused on that. Are there tasks that can be done together? If you need to make a trip to the garden centre you have a list of the things you need to buy there or look for. 

As a result of this you are more prepared to get the tasks done and not overlook any important job on the to do list for the yard / garden. 

Label your boxes to simplify your to-do lists

There is no limit as to the number of boxes you can use or fill in. For example, using one for house management could be confusing. Therefore adding some extra boxes for each room such as bathroom, bedroom, kitchen etc may simplify it all and make it more achievable. 

Other examples are:

  • Personal tasks 
  • Work 
  • Household management tasks 
  • Yard or garden maintenance 
  • Health 
  • Family 
  • Car

Maybe you are running your own business and need to stay on top of all the tasks you have to do. If it helps you to have those boxes then go for it. 

Take your time and write out your to-do lists

Take a moment and jot down the different areas of your life. How you would split things up. 

Boxes or sections that make sense to you. Simplify the whole process so that it is logical to you. Every person is in different situations so they would have other boxes. 

Once you are happy with them, title them.

Go and make that tea or coffee or just grab the water bottle and have it handy. Sit down and write out all the things you want to do and have to do in each of the sections.

Now you have made your to-do list in sections. You can always add to it there is no limit. Once you look over the lists you may realise some overlap and that makes things easy.

Take a highlighter and mark the essential or priority items you really need to do asap. Now you have your schedule as these are your main focus. 

You may not want to do them but procrastinating is not going to make them go away. The feeling of achievement is the goal in mind. 

This simple trick to break it down into boxes makes it appear more manageable overall.

Glancing over your to-do list and seeing the priorities means you know what has to be tackled first and start the ball rolling. Once the initial step is taken the momentum may surprise you. 

Add some fun things on your to-do list

Another idea is to add some fun additions to the list to motivate you. 

The first one could be to write a to-do list. Once you have added some more tasks to the list you can already cross the first one off. 

Look at you go! 

Put that smile on your face and add some more fun treats on the list. Have you wanted to try that new ice cream place? why not add that to the list. 

Go for that long walk? invite a friend and go on the walk to catch up. 

We are adults and the list is ours. It is never going to be the same as anyone else’s so make it your own. Yes, own it! 

Once you realise it doesn’t have to be a boring depressing chore list it takes away the negative feeling of having to do it.. Indeed this can motivate you and boost your mood into feeling capable of achieving the rest of the tasks on your to-do lists.

The time it takes to complete the tasks

We all know or have experienced it. You have a few things to do in town and start on the first thing. You are lulled into thinking these are easy to do. A simple thing of in and out. Then, the first one is done quickly and you think yes! This is great!

The next task takes longer and means you have to come back again. The third you may have forgotten something, a paper or item. Now the tasks go back on the list and you feel defeated. 

This can happen (it can happen a lot) however the wonderful thing is, sometimes the opposite occurs and things that you thought would take hours or even days are sorted within minutes and you wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. (who can’t relate to those wins? They do happen) 

These boosts to your morale are amazing and cherished. 

They do happen. 

Don’t underestimate the jobs that can be done in a few minutes. They may not always be the fun ones however they can be motivational in themselves. 

If you need a boost then check out the list here.

Keep calm and make your to-do list boxes

We all lead busy lives and the to-do lists seem to be never ending at the best of times. As a result they feel overwhelming and impossible. 

Why not try out the method here with labelling boxes for the different areas in your life. Add the tasks that you have to do within the boxes and break down the jobs you need to complete. 

Don’t forget to add some fun things in each of them to boost your mood and motivate you to keep going. 

How to make a to-do list

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