A Realistic To-Do List
What do productive parents know that you don't? Do you find your daily to-do list constantly shoved aside, its items glaringly not crossed off? Do you feel guilty about adding things to the list when you know you're never going to get them done? Here's how to change your thinking -- and start crossing things off that list.
Many of us can't function without the help of a to-do list. But sometimes, that little list can come at a high price. Like guilt. And feeling inadequate. Or feeling so overwhelmed that you can't even begin. That's no good for anyone, and there's no reason your list has to be like that.
Start off right
While many productivity experts agree that tackling your "worst" task first thing in the morning can lead to a more productive day overall, you also want to set yourself up for success. So make the
first item on your list something small -- with a time limit.
It's important to have two kinds of limits on your to-do list. The first is to limit the amount of time you'll spend on a task. Find the unit of time that works for you, whether that's 15 minutes
or an hour, and schedule that block of time.
Reward your achievements
Rather than writing your list on the back of whatever scrap paper happens to be handy, consider splurging on a 99-cent spiral notepad. You can make a new list each day, and you can flip through the
pad to see how much you've accomplished. And yes, it is an accomplishment if you eat breakfast, unload the dishwasher, and put away the laundry. These things don't do themselves.
Start each day fresh
A new day deserves a new to-do list. Even if you didn't get a single thing done yesterday, write a new list. Maybe someone else took out the trash or walked the dog, or maybe you decided it wasn't
worth the effort it would take to redo the guest bathroom by yourself -- whatever. Make a new list, and decide what deserves to be on it.