What could squelch creativity more than being overwhelmed by a gigantic “to-do” list and feeling completely paralyzed?
Searching the term “how to un-do a to-do list,” the results relate to general instruction of how to correct a document on a computer.
So, what is the “UN” to-do list? It’s a way of paring down today’s pace, putting it into proper perspective for a more balanced work-life, and integrating time to play or recharge.
If we don’t regularly back away from work, we become less productive, and the long hours take a toll on everything we do.
Prioritize what “to-do.”
Start the day of the work-life to-do list with the number 1 most important thing, “to-do?” Then just do it!
Close off all other avenues of distraction and concentrate, focus on that number 1, most important item. Shut off the phone, close down all other tabs and windows, close the door and finish item number 1.
Procrastination is probably one of the biggest productivity killers. Everyone is so guilty, and you know this is speaking to you!
If each day is started with just one “number 1” most important thing, finished from beginning to end, it may be more than what’s accomplished in a week for some!
Ooops! as I’m writing this, I just lost precious time… I looked at emails, glanced through Facebook, and hit a news link!
Close down the tabs…do it NOW!
Perspective of the to-do list
Try to objectify the list of things-to-do. While it’s essential to organize tasks daily, make a list, then go back through and edit from a more objective viewpoint.
Ask yourself if some of the items are just on there because they are so simple, can be crossed off so quickly. It just makes you feel better to see something that can be deleted. Take a shower, get dressed, or check email, are the kind of things that should be routine and do not belong on the list!
When the tasks are given a new perspective of importance, you’ll see many don’t need to be on the list or be delegated to a co-worker, intern, or colleague. Don’t try to do everything!
Plan for playtime on the to-do list
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a timeworn cliche, but work and play must be better balanced to stay sane and be more productive during work time.
What would you consider the best definition of “playtime?” Amusement, diversion, leisure, distraction, pleasure, merrymaking, fun, enjoyment, recreation…all are synonyms for “play.”
Reflect on the past few days and see if you can remember how many hours/days you’ve devoted to just playing.
Like many, if you are having trouble with that memory, you need to put “playtime” at the top of your to-do list.
Pull the plug on the to-do list.
Make a “UN” To-Do list. Sounds a little odd, doesn’t it?
While spending time to list the daily tasks, prioritizing and putting it in perspective, planning for playtime, the plug must be pulled! Eeeek!
Too much time in our daily lives is spent plugged in and available to the rest of the world. We must devote time to pull the plug and experience life face-to-face.
I found one of the most creative sites while doing this post, UNDO, what to do when you unplug.
So you can’t think of something to occupy yourself if you’re unplugged from your phone, computer, television, games, or any other electronic device? This site is an interactive list of people nationwide devoted to being unplugged for 1 day a week. Bookmark it and use it often, become involved in “Undoing!”
Plan to stop within the to-do list
If you don’t take care of yourself, no one else will. As you start the day filling up the to-do list, plan to stop.
Set a specific time each day. It can vary from day to day, to stop what you’re doing. Yes, just STOP!
Walk away from it all for 1/2-1 hour. Believe me, the work will still be there, and you won’t be missed. Take a walk, take a nap, read a book (with a cover and paper pages!), meditate, pray, breathe, or just clear your head.
Come back to the work station refreshed, recharged, and ready to complete the next task on your to-do list! I promise you’ll get more done than you thought you would.
After my initial backslide, I closed down all tabs and turned off my phone. I’ve now completed this post for you in record time! I think I must practice what I preach more often!
What are some of the ways you plan to UN do? Would love to hear your ideas and comments!
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