The To-Do List – Peggy W Barnes

The To-Do List

The dreaded “To Do” list never gets “To Done”!  There is always something on that list and there sometimes seems to be the same things on it over and over. 

As I have dealt with clients and myself, over the years, I have found that one of the problems with the “To Do” list is it is oversimplified.  Take for example the item on my list that says – Plan Reception for Dr. Smith. This is an important event for a person running for a political office so it is something that is high on my priority list and requires a lot of my time and attention. However, it is unrealistic for me to think that I am going to be able to just scratch that off my list, until the reception is over.  One of the  problems with that entry is that it requires numerous steps to complete.  It requires getting hosts, getting invitations printed up and sent out, putting together a viable guest list, and it goes on and on and on.  If you are the type that likes to scratch things off a “To Do” list then you need to break your “To Do” list into smaller action items.

Another issue with “To Do” lists are the sheer size of them.  Anyone that just makes a running list of everything they have to do will easily get overwhelmed by looking at it.   It is just too much to take in.  I suggest each night, looking at all you have to do and moving the most important items to the “To Do” list for the next day.  Not everything has the same amount of importance on your list so learn to prioritize, not by what you want to do but by what you need to do.  

Lastly, break your “To Do” lists into categories.  Many times, when I get overwhelmed by my list, I will break it down into categories – Email, Calls, Shopping List and Errands.  You may have other categories that make more sense to you and that is fine……you need to do what works for you!

I hear all of you screaming, what about a SMARTPHONE or ONLINE “To Do” list.  I will admit that I am still mostly a paper girl, not sure why, I just am, but in another blog post, I will give you some of the most popular online and mobile “To Do” lists.  

Well, better run……..I have a reception to plan!  

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