How To Create A Daily To-Do List
I highly recommend getting a software that allows you to keep track of your goals and create tasks to help you reach those goals. I personally use Goals On Track, and I find it very easy to see my goals and the steps I need to take in order to reach them. Moreover, with a software you can track your progress towards your goals, and that helps keep you motivated and on track.
Your to-do list will give you a clear path for the day. When you wake up, you will know exactly what you need to get done to make your day productive. That removes any anxiety or stress about your day and allows you to just focus on the tasks at hand instead.
Your list should include important tasks that are specific for the day (pick up groceries or take Bill to his appointment), as well as tasks that are specific to your goals (write one article, workout, or meditate).
It is important to allot a certain amount of time for each task. This will allow you to create a realistic to-do list and avoid frustration at the end of your day over not getting everything done. It is important to remember that you only have so many hours in your day, and trying to squeeze in 24 hours of stuff into 16 hours of time is not realistic. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
Stick To The Time Allotted
If you have 10 hours a day to work, then make sure you give each task an appropriate amount of time so that 10 hours is doable, and make sure that you stick with each task for the time allotted to it. You may want to set a timer to make sure that you don’t spend too much time on one thing.
If you have a hard time getting everything done, then you may need to re-evaluate your goals. You can’t do everything at once. Some goals may need to go on the back-burner until you complete more pressing goals.
Eliminate Crap From Your Day
When I first eliminated crap stuff, like unnecessary phone calls and TV from my day, I was able to get three day’s worth of stuff done in one day! If you took the time to find out where you time goes, you will have a list of the crap things that you do – and, you will know exactly how much time you are losing per day because of those things.
It can be hard to eliminate the crap from your day. They are habits that you have collected throughout time, and it can feel as though you are giving up something when you stop doing them. But the truth is that gaining hours of productive time throughout your day is worth it. You will feel better about your day when you go to sleep, and in the morning you will look forward to what you are going to accomplish when you know that your hours will be spent doing things that really contribute to your life.
Do One Thing At A Time
This is another important aspect to freeing up your time and energy. Most of the time wasted during the day is by doing too many tasks at once. Your focus should be on one thing at one time.
Here’s the thing. If you try to do two things at once, you have to divert your attention continuously. Each time you refocus your attention, you are losing time from your day.
On the other hand, when you focus on one task at a time, you are forced to concentrate on the problem at hand without distractions, and you can put persistent thought towards the task at hand. This means you can do the task at hand quicker because you are focused on it completely.
While multitasking may seem like a way to get more things done at once, it really just causes more stress on the body and mind. Trying to do more than one thing at a time requires a lot more energy from you mentally and physically. You have to keep track of what you are doing, and your attention can easily be pulled in other directions (email, Facebook, etc.) because you have too broad of a focus point.
Make Time To Reflect And Relax
This may seem counterproductive to getting things done, but it is a secret step that will allow you to get more done in less time.
Meditation is important to becoming focused, centered, and energetic. It gives you the clarity and strength, and sometimes even desire, to go forward with your day and work towards your goals.
I find that a good 10 minutes of meditation (at least) in the morning can make me feel very present and ready to tackle my first task of the day. And when I need to rejuvenate throughout my day, another 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection is enough to allow me to recharge my batteries and get back on track.
Do not use this time to check your social media or watch TV. Your brain needs a break, and it is important to be quiet and be still in order to recharge your brain and energy. If you put your attention on social media, for instance, your thoughts will begin to go all over the place and your energy will continue to deplete, and then you will not be able to focus on your tasks as well as if you had given your mind a break.
Stay Mindful Throughout Your Day
Lastly, your to-do list is supposed to keep you focused on one thing at a time. But, if you are living in the past or the future, you will find that it is very hard to concentrate on your to-do list that always resides in the moment.
It is important to have peace of mind throughout your day. We talked about this earlier in regards to staying happy, but it also applies to your time and energy throughout your day. It keeps your energy stable and allows you to spend more time doing things you really want to do with your day.
I recently read a book called Mind Calm by Sandy C. Newbigging, and I found it to be one of the best resources on being mindful out there. He discusses a meditation technique that can be used anywhere at any time, and it really is a technique to stay mindful throughout your day, as well. Moreover, he discusses some additional techniques in the book for staying mindful, and they are brilliant.
For instance, he talks about a technique where you focus on something outside of yourself and inside of yourself at the same time. To do it, simply focus on something, such as reading this, and then pretend as though you have eyes that can look inside of you at the same time. Use those inner-eyes to pay attention to your heart, and allow yourself to experience reading this and focusing on your heart at the same time. You will find that this exercise really helps you to stay mindful of yourself as well as the tasks at hand as you go through your day. Click here for part 1