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SuccessI am returning from a little blogging hiatus. Over the past month I have been coordinating a community Back-to-School Clothes Swap, organizing workshops for students, and getting my daughter geared up for kindergarten. It’s been hard not to feel guilty when all those little things I wanted to accomplish didn’t fit onto one plate (i.e. blogging, social networking, household projects, personal goals, etc). However, the guilt lessened when I reminded myself of the things I did accomplish and that life wasn’t a race.

This past month I have made a point to acknowledge my achievements by patting myself on the back and doing a little ‘happy dance’. It didn’t matter if the task was large or small, I did a ‘happy dance’. Boy, does it feel great! By being aware and acknowledging my ‘gold stars’, I have felt my self-confidence increase as well as a sense of success. The need to beat myself up over not getting to a task/project has decreased.

If you are tired of feeling like a failure at the end of the day for not completing your to-do list, make a point to shift your thinking and focus on your successes. Reward yourself for the simple, little things in life that get accomplished.

Examples are:

  • You ate lunch: not many people take the time to eat lunch these days!
  • Brushed your teeth: you are taking care of your teeth and smile.
  • Cleaned the dishes: keeping the kitchen clean and decluttered leads to healthier meals.
  • Took your multi-vitamin: giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive!

To get started, create a journal of your daily achievements. Post everything you completed that day – big or small, even itsy bitsy things. Don’t save the gold stars just for the children, use them for yourself too! Give yourself gold stars and do happy dances throughout the day. If you forget to journal one day or for the whole week, don’t beat yourself up. Start again the next day (make sure to give yourself a sticker for starting up again!). It is amazing how great you will feel in only a few short days. Focus on your successes and not your failures!

I’d love to hear your feedback. Take a moment to comment on how you celebrate your successes. If you currently are not acknowledging your achievements, start the journal and report back with your comments.

For more tricks and tips on organizing your time, goals, priorities, and life, sign up here to gain access to my ‘Organizer’s Tool Bag’. It will offer you inspiration and keep you motivated monthly.

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Grace

Before I had children I was very crafty. I was making my own greeting cards, using rubber stamps to make impressions into velvet and then decorating with the fabric, and creating other decor for my home. It has been a few years since I’ve had a chance to pull my sewing machine out of the closet. With little hands and sticky fingers crawling all over the place, it is difficult to begin a project and return to it in tack. There are times when I miss those days…where the craft projects cover the desk/kitchen table for days. My craft room turned into my daughter’s room five years ago. There is a different joy I experience in that room these days.

When I stumpled upon this fun idea for making your own accordion organizer to hold life’s little odds and ends, my creative juices started flowing again! It is perfect for storing business cards, ‘to-do’ list items, stamps, receipts, tickets, photos, and so much more. Keep one in your car, at your desk, and on your night stand to organize your thoughts, notes to self, and action items. Personalize the organizer with ribbons, labels, and a monogram.

If you are short on space and time and looking for a DIY project to help you organize your life, this organizer can be completed in an hour and requires little clean up. Makes a sweet gift too.

Head to http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/howto/ideas/envaccordion.html for instructions on how to create your very own personalized ‘odds and ends’ organizer.

For more organizing tips and ideas, visit my website at www.YourEfficiencySpecialist.com. Gain access to my ‘organizing tool box’ by signing up here. You will receive an email once a month filled with some of my favorite organizing tools and easy tips to simplify life.

Do you ever have the need to jot down a note to yourself while enjoying the Sunday paper and find yourself without a scratch piece of paper? How about the times when you are enjoying a cup of coffee at a co-worker’s workstation and realize you might be forgetting to do something? Always losing your to-do list, but never your coffee?

There is a silly yet smart solution to these problems! It is called the Write-On Mug by FredFlare.com. Schedule as you sip with the Write-On Mug. You can keep your daily tasks and appointments in sight (right under your nose) while sipping your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Use a ballpoint pen or pencil to add your daily to-do list and urgent tasks. When done, simply wipe them off with a eraser.

No need for that fancy PDA! 🙂

I read an interesting article today in the Bottom Line Personal written by Gary Bencivenga on ways to boost your productivity. Lately, I have had a personal struggle with being too productive and not giving myself permission to relax and do nothing. I was drawn to the title ‘Why Your Not-To-Do List Is More Important Than Your To-Do List’. I was hoping Gary was going to tell me it was OK to sit back and not do anything with my days…that wasn’t the way it went.

I wanted to share an interesting topic within the article that I have heard before, but found it to be a great reminder. It is on applying the 80/20 rule to everything you do. Are you aware that 20% of your daily activities are responsible for 80% of your happiness, success, and even your income? These are considered your ‘big-payoff’ activities. At the same time, 20% of your activities are causing 80% of your wasted time. These are your ‘low-payoff’ activities.

To increase your productivity, always look for ways to free up more time to do your big-payoff tasks/activities by eliminating the many low-payoff ones that keep you from achieving your desired goals and dreams.

Your ‘Not-To-Do’ list can be more important than your ‘To-Do’ list! You must constantly be working to minimize or get rid of those 20% of activities that are wasting 80% of your time. You can do this by maintaining your ‘Not-To-Do’ list…

Here are some examples for your ‘Not-To-Do’ list:

  • Never answer email in the morning – Reserve this cherished morning time for your highest payoff activities.
  • Don’t answer phones just because they ring– take advantage of voice-mail, text messaging, and caller ID services. Answering a phone can distract you from doing your current high-payoff activity. It may just be a sales person looking to waste your time and ruin your focus.

Gary suggested asking yourself two questions for every task. Here they are: (1) Does this have to be done? (2) If so, does it have to be done by me? Don’t just be efficient, but be effective too. Do the right things and not just do them right!

So each day when you are creating your ‘To-Do’ list, think of creating your ‘Not-To-Do’ list as well.