Daily Stress Lists

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How long is your daily to-do list? Is it, short, effective and to the point? Or do you create daily stress lists, full of way too many tasks. Often stress lists contain tasks a) you shouldn’t be doing and 2) serve as a distraction from your bigger picture.

2017 has been a journey for me in terms of finding a to-do list that worked for me. At the beginning of the year I was bullet journaling and in the daily to-do section, I was posting each and every item I felt was important for the day.

I found myself frustrated and defeated at the end of every day due to the number of tasks I hadn’t finished.

Reflecting now, I see that most days I was able to achieve 3-4 items on the list, and the rest were shifted to the next day. If I was focusing on the small, important tasks, the big tasks weren’t getting done. The opposite was true as well. If I was focusing on the big tasks, the small weren’t getting done.

Then, I shifted.

As I developed the Positive Productivity Planner, I realized I needed to limit my goal tasks for the day. In the design, I allowed myself room for three personal tasks, three professional tasks, and three miscellaneous tasks. A few days into the planner, I realized three was not enough some days, and while I may only need one personal or miscellaneous, I needed five professional.

The first release of the printed, bound, Positive Productivity Planner will be released in early 2018 with space for five tasks in each the personal, professional and miscellaneous sections.

Please note: I have found that I am better able to tackle the important tasks when I have them separated by personal, professional and miscellaneous. Personal tasks were often ignored when professional tasks surrounded them.

Are you asking, “But what about the rest of the tasks I need to get done?” If so, my response back to you is, “How many of these tasks can you do at one time?”

One. You can effectively work on one task at a time.

Multi-tasking and working on two items immediately decreases your efficiency from 100% to 80%. By the time you’re trying (note I say “trying”) to work on five items, you’re down to 20% efficiency.

Trying to work on more than one task at a time is not good. I realize that by offering the space for five tasks in each of these sections I may be encouraging multi-tasking, however I strongly suggest that every night you lay out the next day with only your TOP THREE tasks. You should focus on completing these three tasks, and then add the next three tasks from your master list.

Where do you keep your master list?

Simply put, somewhere else. I have note sheets in the Positive Productivity Planner where I keep my master to-do list. I keep my master to-do list out of sight and (almost) out of mind, and by not having the list in front of me, I am able to focus on the tasks at hand.

As you’re planning the next day, week, month or year, make a concerted effort to create success lists rather than daily stresslists. Your sense of accomplishment will rise when you find yourself at the end of a day with a smaller list where the majority are checked off.

With your success in mind,