Getting through your to-do tasks vs completing the to do list

Often my “To-do” List for the day is not completing tasks, but completing certain amounts of time allocated to certain tasks/activities.

I feel we need to find a way to feel accomplished in place of finished tasks and empty To-do lists. After all, our “To-do” lists will never end, right?

I don’t believe we should continually be chasing an empty or finished to do list.

Let me explain with an example about mowing the block where the warehouse is located.

I don’t mow until I am finished the whole yard … I know this might sound strange but stick with me here. There is a reason for this. I do this so that I can keep on top of things and get to everything I need to do in a day.

The task: Mow 1.5 hours is on my “To-do” list twice (on 2 days) each week.

I go to our block (where the warehouse is located) and I mow for 1.5 hours, and then I stop; even if it is not all done, that is all I do.

I give the task the amount of time that I have available, then I move onto the next thing …all the while knowing that I have set time aside for things that need my time in the day.

This helps me to get through the tasks that I need to get done.

This also means not getting stuck on one task, so that other things that matter to me are not getting the attention that I would like to give them.

I recognise that this can be hard when you are a person that likes to finish things, but I think it is worth considering. At the time it might not seem like you are making a lot of progress, but when you step back and a take a birds eye view, you will see it has a greater net result for your life. 

This strategy has been helpful for me because I must mow the block every week and thinking about having to mow every week adds to the feeling of always chasing my tail. However, when I set a time to it and then complete that time, I feel like I have completed what I need to complete – it is really satisfying. And yes, I will do mowing next week, but I will just do 1.5 hours then also. It really does relieve the overwhelming feeling of this task.

Remember, mowing is my example, so think about how this might apply to your individual situation.

You can apply this strategy to anything you need to get done consistently. It applies well to the home situation.

Let me give you another example.  When you get to the bottom of the laundry pile after completing numerous loads of washing, it is often only minutes before there is more dirty washing in it, and it’s no longer an empty basket! It is the same with dishes. Not long after you wash all the dishes, the sink starts to fill again … and so it goes on. If you are applying this strategy, and you decide that you will do one load of washing every day or will wash and dry the dishes once a day, then when you have done that, you can tick the task off and move on to other tasks or spend time doing something you love.

Think about it in the sense of consistently showing up, rather than about chasing an empty laundry basket, empty sink, or empty To-do list etc … which isn’t always realistic to me.

I hope this helps those who may be in a season of life where you are time poor. Be kind to yourself. Some things need to be done in their entirety, others do not x.