Are you drowning under a never-ending to-do list? Does it seem to grow larger each day and leave you feeling like you’ve gotten nothing accomplished at the end of the day? I have absolutely been there. Then I found a set of sticky notes in the Dollar Spot at Target that totally transformed my to-do list. They simply said “Top Five” followed by a colorful, numbered list. It was an “Ah-ha!” moment. Instead of trying to conquer a giant list of tasks, I started focusing on 5 each day. I am now dominating my to-do list and I’m sharing my 5 tips to dominate your to-do list, too!
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1. Use a Planner
It is so important to use a planner. To truly rock your to-do list, use a paper one. This forces you to physically write down your obligations and plans. This increases the retention of those plans in your memory. Find out how to best organize your planner to make it work extra hard for you.
- Use a wall calendar, too. Write in important events and dates. This serves 2 purposes, one being that those events will be further imprinted on your memory. The second purpose is to help keep your family organized along with you. Instead of hearing, “Mom, what time’s my soccer game on Saturday?” your child can look at the family wall calendar.
2. Create an Ongoing To-Do List
You also want to create an ongoing to-do list. This can be listed in your planner, on your phone, or in a separate notebook. Put it somewhere convenient that you will have easy access to. Any time that you think of something you need to do such as make a birthday gift or clean your coffee maker, put it on your list. Don’t limit yourself to small tasks. Include bigger ones like re-landscaping or decluttering your clothes. (The picture above is actually my ongoing post list because I keep my to-do list digitally.)
3. Pick Your Top 5
This is THE most important thing you can do to dominate your to-do list! Each night before you go to bed pick the top 5 tasks that you want to complete the next day. Those tasks take priority over anything else on your to-do list. Even if the rest of your schedule has to change due to unexpected events popping up, do these 5 things.
I try to choose my top 5 each day based on categories: cleaning, work, home, family, and self. This helps ensure that no area of my life falls between the cracks. A sample top 5 list using these categories is:
- Cleaning: Wipe Down Baseboards
- Work: Write Blog Post
- Home: Make Freezer Meals
- Family: Read with Kids
- Self: 20 Minutes of Yoga
Stop trying to do it all. Enlist your family’s help where you can. Give your kids daily chores to help with the housework. Let your husband take over some of the weekly errands. This is one that I still struggle with. I think most moms do. We want to believe that we can do it all but we can’t. Even single mothers can’t do it all. Enlisting help from friends and family is necessary to be at your best and get everything on your list done.
5. Start with the Worst
Always start on your to-do list with the task you dread the most. This is fluid, meaning it will change from day-to-day and also as you change and grow. If you are just starting to get in shape, exercise will be a dreaded task but as you become fit, you will start looking forward to it. Dishes are more likely to be dreaded on the day you are throwing a birthday party than they are on a regular day. Starting with the worst task on your list each day make the rest of your to-do list easier.
Now you can dominate your to-do list every single day. Even better is that by sticking to your top 5 like glue, you will see that ongoing to-do list getting shorter. That always creates an awesome sense of accomplishment. If you have larger goals that you need help tackling you can find that help right here. You’ll get the tools you need to conquer every goal you set by breaking it down into smaller, more-manageable goals.