Welcome to Week Eleven of The 52 Week Remodel Your Reality Challenge! Last week we started the process of taming your to-do list. I asked you to clear your mind of the many tasks and projects you had stored in your mental inventory by moving through a brain dump, and writing down every item floating around in your mind. I also challenged you to create some structure around these items, by grouping similar tasks. Today we’re going to put that structure into your calendar.
One Thing To Think About
Last week we organized items on your to-do lists into two groups; repetitive activities and one-time activities. We’re going to take three steps to incorporate both activity groupings into your life. We’ll do that by integrating them into your calendar. First, a few words of advice;
- Repetitive Activities: An effective way to manage repetitive activities is to establish a routine around their completion. For example, if you know you need to pay bills weekly, the most effective way for you to make this happen is to pick a day of the week (even a time of the day) you will do so. Schedule that appointment into your calendar, and show up to complete this task every week. While you may need to make exceptions occasionally, this is by far the most effective tactic I’ve used in helping my clients work repetitive tasks into their calendars with ease.
Another helpful approach to managing your repetitive tasks is to take advantage of outside resources. For example, could you make a standard grocery list, and use an internet grocery service to deliver food items to your house each week? Is it possible for you to have your dry cleaner deliver to your home, instead of having to make the trip to their store each week? Investing a small amount of time to set up a system that supports your repetitive errands can simplify your process.
- One-Time Activities: When addressing occasional errands, it’s most productive to group them together and attempt to complete them within close proximity to one another. While this is not always possible, your willingness to consider this new approach can support you in managing your inventory of tasks.
One Challenge To Take
Okay, it’s the moment of truth. No more overwhelm. No more excuses. It’s time to take control of your to-do list. You’ll do that by taking control of your calendar.
- Step One: Get your calendar out.
- Step Two: Pull out your list of repetitive tasks. Pick one item, and make a standing appointment with yourself, where you will show up to address that task each week. (I understand you will have multiple items on your list. It’s okay to get your structure started with just one of these items. If you feel incredibly ambitious, you can develop a structure for all of them. Yet, even committing to one will put you well on your way to success).
- Step Three: Consider your list of repetitive tasks. Does any item lend itself to delivery? Can you set up an internet grocery delivery or delivery of your dry cleaning? If so, make an appointment with yourself for the upcoming week to complete that process.
- Step Four: Pull out your list of one-time errands. Put them in order of priority. What has to be done first, second, third? Now, pick two to three items to complete this week, and schedule an appointment in your calendar to address them. Next week, come back to your list, and select the next few items to tackle.
I know this sounds simple, and it really is. Taking control of your to-do list can be successfully accomplished when you combine structure with routine. Now you just need to show up to work your routine!
Until Next Week…