There are hundreds of ways to manage your to-do lists, but what most people fail to realize is that we all add more to our lists than we can ever actually do. Even the most focused and productive people I know sometimes feel overwhelmed with the amount of tasks at hand.
Here's a simple way to manage and organize your task list this holiday, especially on those days when you feel overwhelmed to the point of paralysis.
Rewrite your to-do list from memory. This will give you a fresh view and insight into what's most top of mind. This doesn't mean that everything you write down is more important. In fact, it can be quite the contrary, but it’s good to pay attention to this.
Organize each task into one of these three buckets:
A) The stuff you want to do
B) The stuff you should do
C) The stuff you could do (if you had more time, money, etc.)
Now, just let go of the whole C list. If you are too overwhelmed, don't worry about any of these options.
The stuff on list B is probably important, so we want to do some of it. But instead of aiming straight for this, I suggest that you begin with a smaller task from list A – the stuff that you actually want to do.
By doing one or two of the items on list A, you will quickly build up energy and confidence, and you'll feel that you are moving and making progress. Once you have a bit of momentum, tackle an item in list B. Repeat as necessary.
For those of you who have a much longer list B than list A, you're not alone. The key to getting things done is to recognize the difference between the things you have to do, like making a work deadline, and things that you feel obligated to do, such as attending the wedding of a classmate who you haven't seen in ten years. (Believe it or not, you don't have to go.)
Try organizing your To-Do's into these three lists this holiday, and soon you'll be able to reduce the amount on your plate. This way, you can enjoy whatever you're doing more (list A) while sailing through the less fun aspects of list B. As for list C, there's no better time to let go of obligations that don't serve you well. Good luck!