To Do Lists – How to Get It All Done (Part 1)

Have you ever looked at your to-do list and thought, “How in the world will I have time to do all of this?”

When you think about everything that we think we need to do, it can be overwhelming. But if you take the time to analyze your list and create a plan, you’ll find that you can get done what absolutely needs to get done.


Determine Needs vs Wants

There are many things we think we need to do. But how many of those do you really, truly need to do?

Take your child to school? Yes. Or, could that instead be make sure your child has safe, on-time transportation to school? You’re a bad parent if you don’t care whether or not your child gets to school. You are not a bad parent if someone else does that for you.

Go to work? Yes. Or, could that instead be make sure you get your work done? Will your company allow you to telecommute once a week? Twice? Three times? All five days? If you have an hour commute each way, you could gain back two hours per day by not having to commute.

Watch t.v.? Yes. Hmmm. Is this an activity that will put a roof over your head or food on the table? Will it improve your health and lengthen your life? Is this a need or a want? Or maybe television provides stress relief for you. It’s your chance to just relax and turn off your brain. Then the question becomes do you need two hours of stress relief or will 30 minutes do it for you?

When you differentiate your needs from your wants, you’ll be able to create a to do list that contains priorities.


Implement Ghost Tasking

Anyone who’s read my book, The Inefficiency Assassin, or sat in the audience of one of my keynotes or trainings, knows that I preach against multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is when you attempt to complete two high level brain tasks at one time, like reading an email from your attorney while you’re getting tax information from your CPA over the phone.

However, ghost tasking is efficient. Ghost tasking is when one task is running in the background on auto-pilot while you’re concentrating on something else. Some examples include:

*printing off copies while you’re working on a project

*running a load of laundry while you’re planning meals and grocery lists for the week

*walking on a treadmill while you study a book

Ghost tasking allows you to cross off two items from your to-do list at the same time.


Next week, we’ll look at more techniques you can use to create to do lists – and get it all done.

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