11.16.2011

Turn the Never Ending To-Do List Into DONE

As I crawl into bed later and later each evening, I sometimes ponder if I accomplished anything at all that day. 


Last month, I captured one day of my life in photos and kept a journal.  


It was eye-opening.
It appears that I accomplish very little in a day, which is crazy because I know that I’m busier than hell.  My to-do list just seems to get longer, and is never-ending. 
At the end of the day, the mess seems messier, and the laundry just procreates.




At nightfall, I still have emails to answer, errands to run, and people on my list to call.  In fact, it took me three days to call my pediatrician’s office last week to schedule a well visit.  Yes, three days! I would remember to make the call, get distracted, and then it wouldn’t get done that day because I wouldn’t remember until the office was closed.
Don’t even get me started on the kitchen! As soon as I clean the kitchen for one meal, it’s time to start another one.
I rise at 6 a.m. and go to bed as late as 11 p.m. some nights, but it seems I have nothing to show for what I did that day.
When I was in television, I produced a news story every day.  I worked all day for that one news feature.  Once it aired, I had one minute and thirty seconds of work that showed what I did all day.
But motherhood?  That’s a whole different ballgame. Let me be the first to tell you that we really accomplish a lot in a single day, but it’s just harder to measure our work.
A wise friend with children once told me that she makes a daily to-do list, and if she just accomplishes one thing on her list then she considers her day a success.




So here’s my new list.  It will no longer be the "Freakin Never Ending To-Do List" because I'm changing my approach to my to-do list so I can feel some accomplishment at the end of the day. 
You should try this, too. 
Get out your pen and paper, and write the following:
  • Hug and kiss my child lots
  • Make my child laugh or smile today
  • Teach my child something today
  • Read my child a book
  • Transport my child to and from somewhere safely
  • Prepare food for my child
  • (Write one item here that you would like to get done such as schedule an appointment, run an errand, clean the bathroom, do one load of laundry, whatever)
At the end of the day, check off what you accomplished.
I will place bets that you accomplish everything on that list in one single day even the one chore that you need to get done. 


Since I've changed my approach to my to-do list, it has changed how I feel about my days. 
Who knew that making a checklist would feel so satisfying?
I now love my daily to-do list. 


 But, no matter what I do, I still have laundry to fold. I can never seem to get that off my list. 
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I'm linking this post  with Shell's blog today.  If you are from her site, welcome!



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