Ever make a to-do list so long that you know you’ll never be able to accomplish it all in one day? Ya, me too – it’s like a challenge to myself to see what I actually can get done. At the end of the day, my need to get all the things done leaves me feeling disappointed and stressed when I have more unchecked boxes than checked ones. In an effort to slow down these last couple of months and stop the glorification of my ‘extra busy schedule’, I’ve started doing a few things that actually allows me to accomplish all the things in a day on my to-do list.
This app has been life giving for me in terms of breaking down my weekly to-dos. If you’ve never heard of Trello, it’s an organizational app that allows you to create different to-do lists and projects using the concept of boards. Within each board you have different categories that you can sort under. For example, Monday morning I type all the things I need to get done within the week under my To-Do This Week category. From there, I have a To-Do Today category that I move my daily tasks in at the beginning of each day or end of the night in preparation for the next day. I work from that list throughout the day and love being able to move things to the Done category once completed. It also gives me flexibility when I need to rearrange my schedule – so easy! You can check out the app here.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love a good ole handwritten to-do list that I keep in my planner. But, having one on my phone that matches keeps me accountable since I always have my phone with me.
Realistically, I can’t accomplish 3 blog posts, working out, a full days work, dinner with friends, and catch up on my shows. I’ve tried to take a much more realistic approach by prioritizing and being intentional in what I plan in a day. If I know I have plans with friends after work on a Wednesday, I’ll make sure to get my workout in on Wednesday before work instead and then split my blog post writing throughout the other days of the week. Instead of feeling exhausted at the end of each day I want to feel accomplished so being realistic with my list like this has allowed my heart to feel full and keeps the To-Do Today list checked off.
Give Yourself Some Grace
Sometimes, it’s just not going to happen for whatever reason, and that’s gotta be okay. I use to struggle with this a ton. I would stay up late trying to get all the things done or run around like a mad woman until 9:30-10pm when the stores would be closing to accomplish all my to-dos. The next day I would be exhausted and get even less done than if I had just called it quits earlier the night before. Sometimes, it may be completely necessary to stay up late, or you may be on a roll and fired up to keep going, so GO FOR IT! But, if at the end of the day you only accomplish 2 of your 4 things because the day got away and unexpected things popped up, totally fine. I keep them on my list for the next day or rework my weekly schedule so I have time to fit them in elsewhere. Give yourself some grace.
The Day Isn’t All About To-Do’s
I’m the type of person that gets completely caught up in my to-do list and always being busy. I’ve realized over the past couple months that having a busy schedule and always being stressed about what I need to do doesn’t make me very present in my daily life. And while this tip doesn’t always allow me to cross everything off on my to-do list, it does help me feel me grounded and focus when I am working through what I need to get done. It’s so important to take time each day for you. Mine looks different daily, but I love to set aside time for quiet time (some days it doesn’t happen) or watch a movie with Travis with our phones away. Setting intentions to do these things (and you can even put them on your to do list) fills me up when my other to-do’s may be overwhelming me.
I hope these tips can help you, even if only a little bit. You may already be mastering your to-do list and have a couple tips of your own – I’d love to hear them! How do you ‘do all the things’ and stay sane?