Hey Mom, Got an Endless To Do List? A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, July 26, 2010

I was having lunch a few Fridays ago with a Mom friend. We were chatting about the personal and family activities for the upcoming week and she suddenly began to complain about her never ending To Do List. She said that she looks the list over every morning and targets the things she is going to do that day. At the end of the day she rolls what is left over to the next day's list. Consequently, she never gets the list cleaned up. Sound familiar?

I asked her to pick out the things she was going to do on Monday. Then I asked her to look at her Friday list and assign a priority of 1, 2 or 3 to each item with 1 being the highest priority. Then we looked at the 3s. I asked her if they really needed to be done - by her anyway. She said they really weren't very important but wanted to keep they because they were easy to do and she could knock them off in one day. I asked how long they had been on her list and she replied "Oh, some have been there for months." We talked about that and she decided that since she had not done them she could give them to someone else to do or just forget them. It turned out that she delegated two items, moved one to a 2 and crossed out the rest. Progress!

Next we looked at the 2s. She reviewed her list to make sure they were all 2s and found one she could cross out. Then we skipped to the 1s. She had a few on this list and felt they all needed to be completed within the next two weeks. I asked her to set target dates for completion next to each. Then she broke each into task steps and assigned them to a day leaving time for unscheduled issues and a little time to work on some 2s. We did the same with the 2s only spread them over a month. When we were done she created an updated list for Monday.

She called me that Sunday night as she was getting ready for the Monday routine and said she really felt relieved and excited about trying her new process. She will revisit her list each day as she had always done and will make adjustments as necessary but will try to be more realistic about how long things take and how far out she needs to schedule them.

It has been two weeks and she just called to say that it was working and working well. She thinks she is out from under her sense of overwhelm and has a plan she can work. Of course, unexpected tasks will show up but she now feels she can handle them and she knows how to get out of the minutia and into the important stuff. She even revamped the family calendar by prioritizing the activities each person does.

You are probably thinking that you have far too much on your plate for this to work for you. Just give it a try. Figure out what you don't have to do, what you can do 80% or 90% and then go after the big stuff. Stay away from the minutia - it eats your time up. Try it - what do you have to lose except a long list that goes on forever.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog

Janelle said...

I love your blog. I am now following. I found you through Bloggy Moms


Liz Mays said...

That is EXACTLY the technique that works!

Shelley said...

Great post! My 'To Do' is a mile long!

New follower from "I Follow You" on Bloggy Moms! Love for you to come visit and follow me!

Have a great day :)
~Shelley @ Shelley's Swag


Help! Mama Remote... said...

Thanks this is the way to manage our life and loose all the mudane things.


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