The dreaded to-do list. Whether you write it out, add it to your notes app, create colored post its, or have it displayed on your kitchen fridge, one thing remains the same, it never gets done on time, and it leaves you feeling defeated.
It’s the never ending life goals queue; a written reminder of just how much you didn’t get done in 24 hours.
At the end of a long day, you are left feeling shitty, and you are not alone. Here are the lingering thoughts, “my day was unproductive”, “I didn’t get anything done today”, “I’m so behind”, “I’m not doing enough.” Desperation, hopelessness and exhaustion seep in, and you start the next day carrying the residual guilt from the day before. Your to-do list just got longer.
This is no way to live your life.
Let me help you actually be productive by encouraging you to TOSS your TO DO list and create a TOP TWO LIST!
I can already feel the anxiety beaming through the page. No! I need my to-do list! Who can remember all of the things I need to get done! Here’s the good news, I promise you you won’t forget to purchase groceries, and apart from having a recipe you want to try that requires specific ingredients, I assure you that whatever you have forgotten to purchase won’t leave you starving.
The goal here is not to ever write down reminders, it’s to stop laundry listing every single thing you feel needs to be done in one day and ONLY focus on the TWO MOST important things. When you shift your focus on the top two, miraculous things occur. You stop procrastinating what is truly important by occupying yourself with fluffy errands like grabbing a banana holder from Bed Bath. You also start the day with a laser focus on TWO things, and when those two things are completed, you are left feeling like you’ve accomplished something and with time to spare, freeing up time to get to the less essential errands.
We all feel a need to keep busy, stay busy, and do do do. As a good friend once asked me, “Marianela, what if there is nothing you have to do?” At first I had an explosive reaction, a conditioned one, of “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?” Days, weeks, months went by, and the question stayed with me. After feeling burned out, exhausted, and completely defeated, I started to ask myself and others that same question. When I started to focus on only TWO things, it really helped me bring clarity to what’s truly important in my life.
What are your priorities? What are you life goals? I encourage you to write those out and then create your top two list with those answers in mind. If you are ready to hear this, here goes…the to-do list is a cunning way to avoid what you truly want to be doing with your life. It’s keeping your mind preoccupied with the trivial many, not the vital few, as Greg McKeown so masterfully stated in his book, Essentialism.
Celebrate your small wins, and start your day feeling good, and end your nights feeling even better.
A small sense of accomplishment goes a long way! These wins will boost your mood, fueling you with more drive and motivation to tackle tomorrow’s top two. This shift will catapult you into a more productive YOU!