Some people say that there are two types of people that exist in our world. Those who make lists, and those who don't. I tend to think that there are many types of people in this world but based on that logic, I fall into the category of a list maker. Honestly, I can't even remember when I started making lists because its always been a natural part of my life. Are daily to-do lists necessary or even beneficial to your life? I think of it this way, would you go to the grocery store without a grocery list? I certainly don't, unless I want to inadvertently stock up on ice cream and impulse buys. To get the most out of your day, you need some sort of game plan.
To-Do lists are nothing new, in 1918, Charles Schwab met with a productivity consultant by the name of Ivy Lee. Ivy Lee is credited with what is known as the creatively named "Ivy Lee Method". Charles Schwab was trying to boost productivity at his office and what Lee ended up giving him and his associates was the invaluable tool of creating and utilizing "to do lists". Lee demonstrated and effectively proved that using to do lists greatly reduces procrastination and increases focus throughout daily tasks.
By making a to do list, you are effectively forcing yourself to prioritize. This helps to avoid getting sucked into time consuming projects that just aren't that important. So many times my day has gotten away from me, or tasks have taken MUCH longer that I thought they would, and I find myself thinking, ok what my goal for today? Bingo: time to make a to do list to keep me on track.
I find that the beauty of making my daily lists is they don't take much time at all, they keep my life organized, and they give me piece of mind. How are we supposed to remember everything we are supposed to do? Our brain can't hold that much information throughout the day, so what safer place to put it than in a list. I create a "week" list and a "daily" list. By separating the two, I find it much easier to prioritize and not feel overwhelmed with all the tasks in my life.
I highly encourage you to give it a try. Take 15 minutes at the end of your day and write down only 6 tasks that you need to complete tomorrow. Or, do this at the start of your day. Try your best to accomplish them and if you haven't, simply add those tasks to the list for the next day. If this is helpful, try adding a weekly list. I have a fabulous planner that allows for daily, weekly, and monthly to do lists. Lately, bullet journaling has been trending as a easy way to set and complete daily lists while documenting life's important moments. If you haven't heard of it, give it a quick google search for more info.
This week I challenge you to try out a simple daily to do list. See how much you've accomplished and how productive you were. My guess is you'll see a BIG improvement. For more information about how our mental health services can help you in daily life, give us a call at (813) 340-6955.