[BYWG BLOG] How To Ditch Your To-Do List + Still Get Stuff Done
We tend to overestimate what we can get done in a day.
We tend to overestimate what we can get done in a short amount of time and underestimate what we can get done in a longer amount of time, like 10 years.
Big things happen when you fill your schedule with meaning and purpose.
Relationships grow. Your health improves. And your life becomes fuller and happier.
1 – Write down everything you want to do, you have to do, you need to do, and what would be awesome if you could do this week.
Fill the paper up as much as you can. Fill in everything you need to do… family stuff, personal stuff, work stuff… all of the unfinished business in life.
When you have all that stuff in your brain, it clutters up your thoughts.
2 – Take a look at your list and cross off anything you do not really want or have to do.
Recognize the unimportant stuff that you spend your time on and then make a conscious decision to not let it monopolize your time
3 – Next, prioritize your list in terms of which are the most important things.
How we spend our time (and money) reflects our priorities.
It is important to schedule our priorities and not get distracted by the small things that suck up our time.
4 – Decide what is a reasonable amount of time to get this thing done and create time blocks to work on the important tasks that need to be completed (prepare food for your for your family, try a new healthy recipe, exercise, do something meaningful with your child, plan and go on a date night with your spouse).
Try to limit distractions during these times… you’ll start to get a lot more done.
Also, consider what time of the day you have the most energy/willpower to get the big, important things done – and then physically schedule them in.
5 – Transfer your list to your calendar. This is important.
Say one of your big “to-dos” is “exercising consistently.” Write down on your calendar that you will go for a walk and strength train on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5pm. Now it is scheduled.
Once you fill in your calendar to the point that you feel you can move on to the next “to-do” on your list, continue to fill in your calendar as far out as you like until all of the things you want to accomplish are crossed off of your to-do list.
6- Ditch the to-do list! Throw away the list. Now you just rely on your calendar.
This takes the thinking out of the equation when it comes to making the hard decisions on how to spend your time and which tasks to tackle.
We make thousands of decisions every day. And our brains are filled with thoughts and “to-dos”.
When it has been a long day and you have to decide if you want to eat the frozen pizza or make a healthy salad, you do not have to tap into the decision making portion of the brain – you just follow your plan.
So, here is what is going to happen.
You will plan to go to the gym after work on Monday, but you will be so tired that you just want to go home and eat cheap snacks
You think it would be much more fun to go home and relax than to go to the gym.
But you also know that if you do the things you planned, you will be so much happier later.
You have to commit to following your schedule and plan.
So, if you know you are not going to want to workout at 5 pm, put your workout pants on right after work at 4:30 pm. Just tell yourself to do that.
Then fill your bottle.
Then walk out the door and start walking. Or go turn the tv on for the exercise video. Or whatever!
And be sure to congratulate yourself at the end of every day for making your health one of the many priorities in your life! 😉