Wendy Hodge October 30, 2020 Family Checklist
With every new task or project, decide if the effort is worth your time and energy. If you are spending too much time on one project, chances are you are not moving ahead with your goals. Take a good look at your to-do list again and reassess your priorities. Spend a few minutes every morning taking stock of your checklist. How many of those tasks need to get done by you? How many can get done by others? Keep realistic and honest expectations of what needs to get done in a given day. Managing stress is much easier when letting go of those unnecessary tasks.
Determine your overhead actions (we call them "Placeholders"). These are routine actions including meals that fall within duty hours, routine errands (like picking up the kids), exercise, etc. Overhead actions are part of life but do not move you towards your goals. Estimate the time to FINISH each action. Write each task and its duration on a Daily Planning Sheet. Overhead Tasks are placed separately from your Goal Oriented Tasks.
Sort the goal-oriented actions into the order you wish to do them. Set the most important, most remunerative and most difficult nearest the beginning. There is nothing quite as effective as a countdown timer to keep you focused. When you begin a task, set the timer for the duration and hit start. While it is counting down to its alarm you vow to do nothing else but that action. You will be amazed how this will increase your effectiveness.
Writing it down leaves you free to concentrate on other things. Keep your list in front of you, and allow yourself the satisfaction of marking a task as complete. This is a little different from keeping To Do Lists. A checklist tracks tasks that need to be completed on a given project. If you find that you work on the same types of projects repeatedly, consider creating a checklist template for yourself so you can use it over and over again.
Decide ahead of time how long you will devote to a specific task. That way as you are working on it, the knowledge that your allocated time is limited will hone your focus and sharpen your mind, allowing you to concentrate more fully on the task at hand. When you make appointments with other people, use scheduling software or a calendar to keep track of these time-bound events. Likewise, since you have taken the time to plan your day, be meticulous in keeping to your scheduled tasks. Do not let yourself be distracted.
Balance your work schedule with enjoyable "pick-me-up" activities that help manage your stress creatively. This is not an option but a necessity! Making time for fun and enjoyable activities is all about respecting yourself and also modeling this for your family. Start with small activities like spending time at a park or seeing your favorite movie.