Are you a list maker? Do you need a fresh clean list of items to accomplish before you can get started with each day? Do your lists have lists? I know the feeling! I caught myself making a master list with categorical sub-lists (based upon areas of life) and realized that my lists were actually causing me anxiety.
Yes, lists can be helpful and they do assist in dumping your brain at 3:00am so you can finish sleeping without the anxiety of possibly forgetting to fix the handle on the toilet. They also help us schedule out and plan. But they can become cumbersome to productivity when over used.
What do I mean? Well, have you ever found yourself adding items to your lists just so you have the satisfaction of crossing them off right away? They are now effectively unproductive. How about when your list is so long that you feel it can’t be accomplished? It’s hindering productivity.
I suggest (what I call) the superhero approach to lists.
Have you ever heard Batman, Spiderman or Superman talk about how they were going to do fifteen line items before they jump into battle? No. They simply pick the most pressing matter and jump on it. Literally.
I have also found that taking the non-pressing items and scheduling a spot on your calendar for completion can be extremely effective. Make calls in one hour time slot. Run errands during lunch. Pick a project that will take more time and schedule it, like your kids tae kwon do, on the calendar and stick to it.
Hopefully you will have some relief from the anxiety of lists and the pressing to-do’s in the coming weeks. Now, it’s time to put on my cape and fly into battle.