2 hours left. Down by 21 tasks. It’s time to snatch defeat from the hands of time and evil procrastination. Can you make a comeback?
Probably not. Sorry, did I interrupt an inspirational moment?
Let’s be truthful. You’ve had all day to knock out that to do list you aren’t going to get it all done in a few hours.
But you could try to cut the deficit in half or get within 5 tasks to start the next day?
Starting the day with a to do list that seems manageable is a great feeling. Starting the day with a new to do list by adding the previous day’s to do’s is deflating.
I’ve tried a lot of To Do lists. Wunderlist, Todoist, Things, Reminders, Any.do, iProcrastinate, Trello and scratch paper.
Want to know which one I recommend? All of them. They are all great and all had positives. Try them all out to see which one is the best fit for you and the way you work.
The key to a to do list working for you is how well you pair with it. Eventually you quit using one because the list you make goes unfinished and you stop making new lists.
I’m currently using Trello and good ol’ Field Notes. Trello is working for me because I see my tasks easier in the board layout. I’ve used it to build my daughter’s guinea pigs a home and I’ve used it for filming a video on YouTube. I have my writing board and an Idea board. I pair well with it so I’m using it.
Here’s their Editorial Example:
Here’s one they customized for Sales Pipeline:
I start separating from my to do list when I fail to get a few of them done. It seems the list starts to grow larger and now has teeth and a vicious growl.
My problem is starting Monday with a to do list and not finishing every item on that list. Tuesday’s list is new with the unfinished Monday tasks and so on throughout the week.
Here’s what I’ve done that has greatly improved my completion percentage daily and by the end of the week. When I have a few hours left in my day I leave Trello and pick up my Field Notes.
This has become “Before the day ends” list. I make a new list of projects, emails, unfinished tasks that I would love to finish before the day ends. Some days the list has 8-10 items and some days it has 4. It can even have just one. Just finish this one task before the day ends.
I tackle this list differently. I avoid going straight down the list. Instead I pick which task is easiest to complete and go from there. I’m often left with 2 or 3 so I pick which one is ok to leave until tomorrow. I pick the 2 that will make me happy to get done before the day ends.
This method allows me to finish the day on a high note. Checking the box instead of adding to tomorrows to do list. One rule, can’t stress or become bummed if any of those items go unfinished. I do a victory dance for the ones that get completed.
Celebrate victories and cut your big numbers in half. Even by just one is reason to smile at the end of the day.