Do you feel like you have trouble finding time to do the things that are most important to you? With all of the distractions of modern-day life, it can be tough to find time to focus and work on your own goals.
If you’re like most parents, your to do list is probably endless. It’s a rare occasion when I can truly accomplish everything on my to-do list in a day.
As someone who loves to finish things and cross them off my list of things to do, my to-do list was always a disappointment. I felt like it was a growing document that would just never go away.
A few months ago, I read a new book about time management for moms, which was written by my friends Sarah Korhnak and Beth Anne Schwamberger of The Brilliant Business Moms. They suggested a technique for focusing on your goals that I found incredibly helpful.
They recommend focusing on 5-6 big goals, and letting the other goals go (for now). If you’re working on too many goals at once, you’ll spread yourself too thin.
In the book, Time Management Mama: Making Use of the Margins to Pursue Your Passions, they suggest a way to get all of your goals and ideas on to paper, and then pick your most important goals. I was surprised to see just how many ideas and “goals” I had been thinking about. No wonder I felt so scatterbrained!
After I chose my five big goals, I decided to work on them a little bit every day. Now, when writing my to-do list, I write a small, manageable task that relates to each one of my goals. One of the goals is to get our household organized, so I am able to put some of the more annoying household tasks (making calls, setting appointments, cleaning) in the organization category.
I use The Brilliant Business Planner to keep track of all of the things I need to remember to do that aren’t on my daily to-do list of five important tasks. I like this planner because it has planning and record-keeping sections for bloggers and Etsy sellers.
When I’m making my daily to-do list, I’ll often pull a to-do item from my Brilliant Business Planner. From time-to-time, I have to do a Power Hour to get rid of the nagging tasks that have been in my planner for a while.
The Benefits of Creating a To Do List Based On Your Goals
- It’s less intimidating. I only have to do five things each day. Often, something doesn’t get crossed off the list, but I can usually figure out why I wasn’t able to complete the task. When I had a huge, running to-do list, it just seemed like a big failure all the time.
- It’s more motivating. Everything on the list is moving you closer to your big goals.
- It’s more compact. You can write it on a post-it note, and then throw it away when you’ve crossed everything off the list. For someone who likes to complete tasks, this is big fun!
- It helps you to get rid of the “mental clutter.” When I start to feel scattered, I just look at my mini to-do list, and remember that those are the tasks that are important for today.
- You don’t forget about the important things that are easy to postpone. Making family or relationships with friends a goal means they won’t get lost in the shuffle of everyday busy-ness.
What do you do to make your to do list more manageable? Please leave a comment below if you have any ideas for helping parents to get things done!