The To-Do List Dichotomy

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To-do lists often get a bad rap.  It’s easy to visualise an unruly never-ending list which makes us feel totally overwhelmed.  We can put way too much on, making it completely unachievable in the time we’ve given ourselves. We set ourselves up for inevitable failure.

This can all be true, but when used well, they can equally be a helpful, clarity bringing, overwhelm busting, momentum building tool! I love a good dichotomy! Do you find your to-do lists help or hinder?

Having a variety of ongoing, repeatable to-do lists, can prevent decision fatigue, promote consistency, free up headspace, and help you to see what is and isn’t getting done. They help you to keep on track in business and life. Create these and you’ll have a trusty, new, yet evolving system in place. It’s easy and fun if you let it be.

6 Top Tips to make To-Do lists work for you, so that you can feel spacious, organised and on track.

1. Create weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual checklists in a spreadsheet. 

Each new week, month, quarter, or year, add another column.  As you check off your tasks, you can clearly see over time, which tasks are and aren’t getting done.  This helps you to make decisions about whether the tasks on your list are really needed, which you can scrap, and which ones need a strategy to help get them ticked off more consistently #outsource!

2.  Know that just because something is on the list doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it.

These lists are more of an ‘In an ideal world, these are the tasks that I’d like to happen consistently at regular intervals at this point in my business and life.’  It helps to decipher which tasks are necessary, important or just ‘nice to do’s.’  

3. Colour code your tasks.

I find colours always make a spreadsheet more visually pleasing. I use my brand colours.  Use colours to group your tasks in a way that makes sense to you.  You could use one colour for necessary non-negotiable tasks, one for important but not necessary, and one for nice to-do’s.  Or one for review tasks, one for planning tasks, one for mindset tasks, one for finance tasks.  Whatever breakdown makes sense for you will work.

4. Have a task on each list which leads you to your next list.

My weekly list has a task which says ‘check monthly list’ my monthly list says ‘check quarterly list’ and so on.  This means you lead yourself through your task lists. Each week, you’ll be guided back to the monthly list, so you don’t need to do everything in your monthly list on the first day of the month.  Equally, you’ll be guided to your quarterly list each month.  It enables you to spread your tasks out and tackle them when you have the availability and energy to give them the time and space they deserve.

5. Remember to add fun, enjoyable, tasks to these lists.  Include a mix of practical, creative and mindset tasks.

These lists are not supposed to be dry, cold, and boring.  Including some fun enjoyable tasks will help these lists to become your friends rather than your enemies.  I Love mindset work and include ‘do lift-off process’ on all my lists!!!  Include self-care tasks. Your lists are a reflection of you and your business, allow yourself to be creative. Remember that just because some tasks are fun and creative, doesn’t mean you need to relegate them to the ‘nice to do section.’ Allowing creativity into our business and life is necessary if we want to live our joyful dream life. 

6.  Regularly review your lists

Add things to your list as they come into your awareness as things you’d like to happen consistently.  Equally, if things aren’t happening regularly, you can remove, delegate, or move them to a less regular list.  These lists are a tool to help you be more consistent, not to use to beat yourself up with. If the idea is still feeling a little restrictive, check out this blog.

Your lists will change as you and your business evolves, this is a good thing.  Your lists are not set in stone and are a tool to support you and your business.  I can help you to set up your recurring to-do lists, in a single session.  Click here to book, or email me for more details.

Screenshot of weekly recurring to-do list spreadsheet