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Write it down!

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How do you manage your list of things to do? I've been told time and time again not to hold lists of things to do in my head and to write stuff down so I don't forget. That makes logical sense to me. But it doesn’t seem to work for me. The problem I have with this is that once I've written it down, it feels as though the tasks are accomplished! And this makes no sense I know!

But I feel that writing stuff down makes room in my mind for new lists of things to do and then they become my new priority, instead of focusing on the physical list created. The downfall though is having too much on my mind makes me procrastinate because I have placed so much pressure on myself. My head space seems to be an organised mess. It's like, “Don't touch nothing I know where everything is!” My home, however, does not reflect this as I can't stand mess! I do wonder if the way I manage my list of things to do has something to do with being a creative person, hence the scattered thinking. Although, despite the inconsistencies in my thought patterns and that I jump from one task to another I do actually get things done.

I have to come to realise though that the self talk attached to the list of things to do is almost more important than the list itself. And that being nicer to myself is key. For example, I no longer use the words “I need to” and I have changed the phrase to “I would like to”. This has helped a lot with mental pressure, my stress levels and how I actually feel about what I may have to do. Simple I know! But the commanding words we use on ourselves regarding everyday things can really have a negative impact on us, without us realising it.

The reality of time is also paramount to a mental list of things to do. I know that I work well under pressure and I used to create a mental list of things to do that would be so long that if in reality I was to put a time to each task, the list would fill the whole 24 hours of each day, including working full time and being a parent. But there would be no mention of things like eating and sleeping or general 'me' time. Literally every minute was mentally accounted for! I’d become so focused in my mental chaos that simple things would go amiss, until health problems started to arise and a lifestyle reevaluation was swiftly needed. I also realised that thinking in this way made me no longer enjoy some of the things I actually loved doing, because everything was a task.

So now, accompanied with friendlier self talk, I also attach realistic time frames to my mental list of things to do. I consider what I would like to get done in a day and what can be done over the course of a week or a month, The “I want it done now” mentality that had been socially learned had to be replaced with patience and time. I used to hate when my parents would say “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” but funnily enough I get it now!


1 comment

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 29 March 2016 17:39 SN posted by SN

    I understand exactly what your saying. I write a lot of lists, use calendars and a diary. I find it helpful to make sure you include what you have accomplished as well as your normal to do list.


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