Successful folk are the ones that manage to turn To-Do Lists into “Ta-Da!” Lists.
~ Michael Rawls
I’m a list maker. I need to write things down otherwise, I’m likely to forget. Writing a “To-Do List” is one of my favorite lists to write. I feel a sense of accomplishment checking off each task I’ve taken care of that day or week. Sometimes I’ll even add something that I’ve done just so I can check it off. It makes me feel good.
As writers, I’m sure all of you are aware that often our “To-Do Lists” can be jam-packed with tasks. For me, the tasks might include: write, edit, respond to e-mails, respond to blog comments, submit story, enter contest…. the list is endless.
I do two things for a more manageable “To-Do List.” First, I like to break down my tasks into smaller more specific tasks. Instead of listing “Write”, I can say, “Write a blog post,” or “Write for forty-five minutes.” Rather than saying, “Edit,” I’ll say, “Edit Chapter Four,” or “Edit two scenes.” If I were going to paint the entire house, which is currently not on my “To-Do List”, rather than saying, “Paint House,” I would say, “Paint Bathroom,” or “Paint Guestroom.” By doing this, I have several doable projects rather than one monumental task.
Secondly, I try to be realistic when making my lists. I keep it short. If I’m only considering a project, but haven’t committed, it stays off the list. It becomes overwhelming if I use the list to dump every task that enters my mind. I’ve discovered having a short list doesn’t mean I’m not motivated, it simply means I’m wise enough to know my limitations.
What is the gist of your “To-Do List?”