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May 23, 2021
Many of us have struggled with the feeling of being overwhelmed. We find ourselves wishing for more hours in the day, or spend a full day feeling busy, then tired, only to look back and wonder what we even did.
Lists can offer structure to a chaotic lifestyle. The act of writing a list can reduce anxiety and simply 'having it down on paper' allows us to feel reassured we'll remember to do things.
Among the benefits of keeping a daily To Do list is being granted a daily set of achievements to tick off and look back on when the day is done. These small moments of recognition can make a noticeable difference to how we feel - whether we're managing a heavy workload, tackling a complex project or planning a wedding.
It's common to fear the To Do list - what if we don't get everything done? It's true that many a list can go unfinished (41% of them) and it's easy to overestimate what we will be able to complete on any given day. Things can crop up and new emails come in, but it's far easier to spin multiple plates when you can at least see them all and know what you are dealing with.
Tips for keeping a daily To Do list
1. Write it the day before, so you can approach your day with clarity and hit the ground running. This also serves as a brain dump for anything that wasn't completed that day.
2. Prioritise. The most time-sensitive and strategic things should ideally be done when there are the least distractions and you feel your most productive - not necessarily 9am.
3. Separate the 'Must-do' items from the 'Could do' activities and carry anything left over to the next day.
4. Keep your list in sight. If you get a free moment, the smaller easy wins are readily available to dip into.
5. Keep several separate lists. If something is longer term, try adding it to a 'this month' or 'this week' list.
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