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What kind of relationship do you have with your to-do list and your calendar?
Here is a novel idea, start appreciating your to-do list. All too often, we look at our to-do lists and get upset. We are angry that we have so much to do. We are frustrated that our to-do lists grow each day instead of shrinking. When we have this attitude, our to-do lists are seen as burdens instead of opportunities. Take a moment to think about that. Would you rather spend each day with a burden or with an opportunity? If you are like most people, you would prefer to spend your time with opportunities.
Our to-do lists are things that we create, often with the best intentions in the world. Typically we get up in the morning and start our day thinking about all the things we want to accomplish and need to accomplish throughout the current day and in the days to come. Often there are more things to do than can easily be remembered. Thus, it is time to create a to-do list. Some place these lists on simple sheets of paper. Others use beautiful journals and planners. Still others create bullet journals with washi tape, calligraphy, and pretty colors. Still others create lists on electronic devices. I created an easy to manage electronic bullet journal that is easy for me to maintain and use.
I am an entrepreneur who also runs a successful non-profit entity, has a happy marriage of over 28 years, and am the mother of four children. In each of these roles and several others that are part of my life there are lots of things I must do each day and lots of plans for the future. It is not possible for me to remember each thing I must do in each of these roles. Thus, the need for to-do lists. As you may imagine, my to-do lists for each of these roles for current and future tasks are quite long. But, I never see those long to-do lists, some of them containing dozens upon dozens of items as burdens.
It may be hard to understand how 5 or more to-do lists each containing numerous items is not viewed as a burden. The secret is that I see my to-do lists as tools. I know that I use tools and that tools do not use me. In other words, I understand that my to-do lists are things to help me do life better. I control the things that are on my to-do lists. The to-do lists do not control me. I control whether an item is on my to-do list for today, tomorrow or some other day. Because my to-do lists are my tools, I set them up to help me do and be my bests each day. This means, I never put more on my list than I can realistically accomplish each day. I set up my to-do lists to help me do the right things at the right time. I see my to-do lists as tools.
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