There are items on our “to-do” list each day that get crossed off as easily as they are added. These items don’t really want to be on our to-do lists – they are like children home from college; happy to see us and spend some time, but after a hug, visit and a meal, they’d like to borrow the car and go see their friends.
And then there are the items that GLOM on to the to-do list. They stay on that list for days, weeks and even years; sticking much like my 3 year old who was glued to my leg for the first 2 months of pre-school.
I recently read a fantastic book called Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney and was inspired to apply some of their techniques to my “to-do” list. Whether or not we check things off our list, has a lot to do with our own willpower.
Willpower means so many things; but for the purposes of this discussion, I am defining it as the ability to follow through on our list of “to-do’s” even when we are stuck, tired, would rather eat a donut and don’t freakin’ want to, ok? Ever been there? Me too.
The good news is that willpower can be understood and strengthened and, the best way to start is with the actual making of the “to-do” list.
Here’s a little trick that was outlined in Willpower, that is just crazy enough to work.
Here it is; when you are tackling the hardest thing on your list, tell yourself that you are not allowed to do anything else until that item is complete.
When people procrastinate, they typically are doing something aside from what they should be doing. Don’t allow yourself that distraction. If you have a report due, sit at your computer and either write the report or do nothing but gaze out the window. That report will get done, OR you will enjoy some much-needed gazing time.
Here’s my #1 trick for you.
Make a list of the things that you are going to let go of. You know those “should” projects like; make personalized photo albums for every child in the family or learn to play the piano?
Let them go. You may still make those photo albums and become a pianist, but it won’t be because it was on your list – it will be because you created enough space in your life to take action.
Enjoy your day and you’re the joy of completing your list of “to-do’s”
Checking things off in L.A.,