Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The never-ending "to-do" list.

I don't know about you, but my "to-do" list never seems to end.

I've had this debate with men quite a few times as it seems to me that many men don't have nearly as much "to-do". It leaves me wondering, are women really that busy? or do we just not take time to relax and decompress? I can say that is SUPER hard for me because I find that even on the RARE days that I do end up with nothing to do, I find myself wondering around thinking "what can I get done?".

I realize it's all about time management. There are ONLY 24 hours in a single day and many of us schedule way beyond 24 hours worth of stuff in one day. We tend to over commit ourselves to events, work, people and activities because it is so hard for some of us to say a simple NO.  It's not healthy.

It's all about prioritizing the most important things. I once read 4 words that helped one woman get her never ending to do list under control: high priority-high yield. and what that means basically is that you put your effort, time, and resources into activities, people, and work that will yield a lot for you, be it emotional support, professional recognition, personal development, connection with others and so on. This can really help you.

Wikipedia had some helpful tips under their time management page.

Task list

A task list (also to-do list or things-to-do) is a list of tasks to be completed, such as chores or steps toward completing a project. It is an inventory tool which serves as a supplement to your memory.

suggested "do's and don'ts" of time management include:
  • Map out everything that is important, by making a task list
  • Create "an oasis of time" for one to control
  • Say "No"
  • Set priorities
  • Don't drop everything
  • Don't think a critical task will get done in spare time.

Task list organization

Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list.

Task lists are often prioritized:
  •  "ABC" prioritization. In this system "A" items were the most important ("A-1" the most important within that group), "B" next most important, "C" least important.
  • A particular method of applying the ABC method assigns "A" to tasks to be done within a day, "B" a week, and "C" a month.
  • To prioritize a daily task list, one either records the tasks in the order of highest priority, or assigns them a number after they are listed ("1" for highest priority, "2" for second highest priority, etc.) which indicates in which order to execute the tasks.

Anyways, I realize that half of our daily to do lists can't be removed, hello most of us have to cook, clean(of some sort) and work daily so there is no getting out of that. What we CAN control is how many events we commit ourselves to.

Once you learn to say no to some of the events and activities that come your way, that's when you start to see just a teensy bit of time for yourself. and that time for yourself is ALL TO IMPORTANT to your own physical and mental heatlh.


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