Thursday, April 7, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Keys to Tackling that Long List

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Long lists stress me out. But not all long lists are created equal. Sometimes, they key to de-stressing the list is in the way we look at it

  • Chunk your list. Set yourself up for success by adding white space to your list. You can chunk haphazardly (here a blob, there a blob), numerically (skip a line or two after every 5 items) or by category (to do, to call, to buy). White space can make the list seem less intimidating, not to mention easier to read.
  • Keep in mind that the length of the list isn't always indicative of how long it will take you to get through it. I always forget this. Some things on the list take 30 seconds, some take 5 minutes and some take all day, but we can't always tell that by the amount of space they take up on the page. If your list is intimidating, try color-coding items by the amount of time they'll take: yellow for less than five minutes, green for six minutes to half an hour, orange for 31- 60 minutes and purple for anything over an hour. Then make sure to tackle quick tasks as well as long ones to give yourself a sense of accomplishment.
  • Separate to-dos from appointments and must-dos.  Group them by columns or sides of the page. That way, if you get to everything you were supposed to do, anything on the other side of the list is icing on the cake.

As I was preparing this blog, I came across a great article on productivity. Visit me tomorrow at The Porch Swing Chronicles for the link to this great (and realistic) article from Inc. by Peter Economy.

Meanwhile, cut yourself some slack. Celebrate your accomplishments instead of beating yourself up for what you didn't do.

That to do is at the top of my list.

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