I don’t know about you – but I HATE it when I don’t get everything done on my to do list for the day. It makes me feel like I failed the day. Today was one of those days for me – how about for you? Read on to find out my tips for days like this!
Not finishing my to-do list can really put me in a funk. Worse – the funk lingers. Sometimes that funk can linger right on into the rest of the week!
So, what do I do about it?
Here is my 3-step plan for days when I don’t finish my to-do list:
Step 1: Shake it Off
Okay – so what? You didn’t finish your to-do list! What’s the big deal!? I mean, sure, there are things undone, but I’m sure there are no REAL emergencies that you didn’t take care of or that you can’t take care of tomorrow.
So – show yourself a little self-compassion and grace – and shake it off (you can even do the T.Swift dance if you want!)
Instead – write the things you want to get done in the coming days on your to-do lists for those days. I use a planner (see the Day Designer on my Resources page), so when I don’t get something done from the day before, I write it onto the to-do list for the next day (or the day after). Instead of having to flip back to the missed day for all the remaining to-dos, I just move whatever didn’t get done forward.
If you are more granular, you may want to make an AM and a PM to-do list – so put anything you didn’t get done today onto the appropriate list.
Step 2: Get Real
Get real about your priorities and your expectations for your to-do list. Often on days when I’ve totally blown the to-d0 list, it’s because I had WAAAAAYYY too much scheduled on there to begin with.
Instead of putting EVERYTHING you need to do on one to-do list which really never gets completed, break your to-do lists up into manageable chunks that take into account the other things going on.
For example, today I had way to much on the list because I had commitments and meetings all day which prevented me from doing some of the tasks I would have liked. Here I am at the end of the day thinking that I’ve failed, but when I reflect on my day, I realized how much actually was accomplished (granted just not things on my existing to-do list!).
So – examine the things on your to-do list and schedule them out on to-do lists for other days if they can wait.
Step 3: Go Deep
If not getting your to-do list complete is occurring frequently AND it’s really getting you down, then reflected deeply on the priorities and tasks you are filling your time with.
Life is not about a to-do list.
Sure. We use them to stay sane, and to keep us focused on our goals.
But having repeated days of not getting your to-do list accomplished and continually feeling like a failure means you need to reexamine things, my friend!
In this case, work with a intention-setting workbook or journal like Lara Casey’s PowerSheets to really get clear on what is important to you and what you need to say “no” to. A coach can really help here as well.
Check out my NEW Resources page for links to the resources listed in this post and other goodies to help you on your journey!!
All my love,
~Alison, A Teacher’s Best Friend