We live hectic stressful lives today. This tools serves to keep us organized and sane in a world of overwhelm.
I received my very fist day planner when I graduated from the rehab program following a brain injury. Since I had no short-term memory they gifted me with some place to write down everything I needed to note and every appointment I needed to keep—and keep it all organized in one place so I could easily find what I wanted when needed.
The brain injury left me with no short-term memory and no ability to organize anything. So this gift made life doable for me.
After receiving the book I discovered the company that made it taught organization classes that showed you how to use the planner effectively. I took advantage of the opportunity to maximize my use of the day planner by taking that class.
In that class I learned a clever and simple system to organize my day, track what was important to do as well as what I wanted to accomplish and when.
That system seemed wonderful. I definitely adapted parts of it that fit my learning and life style. I recommend taking that class if the company still offers it.
However here is a huge drawback to what they teach, in my opinion.
They teach you how to make “to do lists” every day. They recommend making three lists of what needs to be done. Then they instruct you to label the tasks that must be done that day as “A” priorities. Next, mark the items B that would be nice to get done that day but can wait until the next day, if need be. Finally, they say to make a list of things you would like to get done – someday – and mark those items with a C.
At the end of each day they tell you to mark off what you did accomplish and move the left over A and B and C items to the next day.
DO you see any flaws in that system? Here is what I found.
I kept myself busy doing the B items and some A items. The most important A items, the ones I actually had some silly fears around – those items got moved to the next day – repeatedly.
My advice to you is always always always do what you most fear, the hardest task first. Once that is out of the way your stress level plummets freeing up your energy to zoom through more tasks more efficiently.
When you leave something you know, deep down, is very important you stress yourself Seeing that same task on your daily list raises your stress level around it.
So moving an A task from one day to the next reflects a fear that is causing you great stress.
Looking at that list of B and C items – undone – every day adds to your stress level. Right in your face you see reminders of what you failed to accomplish!
Let’s be honest here. Does a “To Do” list help you remember what you say you want to do OR does it remind you how much you didn’t do?
Seriously, do you need a reminder of the zillions of things you want to get done – someday? Don’t you know that list inside out and upside-down?
I propose a better idea than a to-do list: make a “Who do I have to be to do ABC” list.
People who accomplish certain kinds of tasks possess the same inner strengths and knowings. Maybe you have to be someone who easily and comfortably talks on the phone. Maybe you have to be someone whose self-confidence bursts forth without you ever saying a word.
Once you discover the traits you need to possess to do what needs to get done then you will sail through that kind of task every time it arises for the rest of your life!