You know that to-do list you diligently create every day?
The one that mocks you as the day progresses because you’re not crossing tasks off fast enough?
It can make you feel like you’re climbing a mound of dry sand. Just can’t get any traction.
The harder you try, the faster you fall.
Frustrating, isn’t it?
Or maybe you totally make your to-do list work. If so, hurray! You can put this post away and get back to your list.
Show off! 🙂
Still With Me?
The to-do list is loudly and vigorously touted as the premier tool of the highly successful.
It is the holy grail of solid organization and productivity.
But for some of us, it’s more frustrating than useful.
Many things that are supposed to be success game changers don’t necessarily work for me. And they probably don’t for you.
If I’ve learned anything in my over 20 years of running a home business, it’s that there are no cookie cutter must-follow paths to success.
Some of the most successful people I know are among the most avant-garde.
Usually it means taking mainstream advice and tweaking it — personalizing it.
Like my anti to-do list.
To-Do List Or Not To-Do List, That Is The Question
I started out following the advice of every business mentor out there by creating a daily to-do list.
But I soon found myself dropping off the wagon. For a day or so, I’d make one, follow it diligently, but not really feel like it made a huge difference.
Then I’d make one, and forget to check it the entire day.
Eventually I started keeping it, kinda sorta, in my head.
And no, that wasn’t much good either.
I get the concept of the to-do list. I really do.
But no matter what I did, it always seemed to be another source of stress for me, instead of a useful tool.
And one thing I want less of in my life is stress.
I’ve pretty much decided one of my most important life goals is to find my peaceful zen.
I’ve done stress. I’m done with it.
Dare To Take A Road Less Traveled
Is it okay to buck the system? To chuck out the traditional to-do list for something better?
Do I hear the sound of my success tanking?
What do I not like about a to-do list? Let me count the ways.
- I can’t always decide what order the tasks should be in.
- I find it difficult to decide if something should even be on the list in the first place.
- I leave things off because when I make the list, I forget about them.
- Things come up that take me off task that I have to attend to.
- I get distracted.
- I end the day, having crossed hardly anything off.
Do you feel a kinship with any of these?
Maybe there’s a better way. Let’s take a look.
Enter the Anti To-Do List
Instead of making a to-do list, how about making an anti to-do list?
Huh, I hear you saying. What on earth do you mean?
No, I’m not suggesting we put things we don’t want to get done on a list.
Rather, I’m saying let’s just take everything that’s in our heads that we’re trying to remember to do and dump it onto a piece of paper.
A mind dump of all the clutter we keep in our heads. Those things that nag at us, that we’re afraid we’ll forget.
Things we know we need to do. The only questions is when.
Get All That Stuff Out Of Your Head
I’ve been doing this for a while now, and I’ve found that it has greatly reduced stress. It’s more fun.
And I focus on the real important tasks, not the imposters.
It’s so much easier to prioritize this way. Or so I’ve found.
What Goes On Your Mind Dump List?
Okay, you may be saying. I’m game. But what exactly goes on this list?
The short answer, every task bouncing around in your head at the present moment.
For example, here’s one of my recent lists:
- Finish blog post.
- Check out some skincare websites.
- Place online order.
- Write post for __________ (customer name).
- Work on course training tasks.
- Look into dog training.
- Rework landing page on blog site.
- Knock down spider web.
- Send out customer invoices.
- Check in with _______ about next week’s tasks.
I just dumped everything I wanted to remember that day onto my list. Obviously they are all over the place. Some business. Some fun. Some random things.
Really don’t want to forget about that dang spider web. Yuck!
Rid Your List Of Today’s Clutter
Now, clearly this anti to-do list looks like nonsensical ramblings. But it’s a dump of the clutter taking up space in my head.
And it served its purpose. It reduced my stress.
Good enough for me.
Not Everything Is Of Equal Importance
Once you have your list, look it over. What must be done today, to move your business forward?
What can wait?
Surprisingly, it may be only one or two things that are critical right now.
That’s the refreshing part. Tasks that seemed highly important while clanging around in your head, are revealed to be must less so once they’re dumped.
For example, on my list, only sending out invoices and finishing my blog post were critical.
Yes, I want to work on training. Yes, I need to start a customer post, but it doesn’t have to be done today.
Oh, and that spider web really must go.
Everything else can wait.
That feeling of anxiety over things not done is now completely off the table.
Pretty sweet, huh?
Experiment With Your Own Anti To-Do List
Ready to see if the anti to-do list works for you?
Get a small tablet or notebook. Actually writing this on paper does seem to work best, for some odd reason.
Chose a time every day that works for you and empty your head — dump your mind — onto your paper.
Review your list.
Cross off less important tasks, or mark them as such.
Focus on the few that need immediate attention. This is anything that, if not done, will halt forward progress.
That’s it. It really is that simple.
Now sit back and enjoy that feeling.
Allow me to reintroduce you to an old friend.
Its name is peace. It also goes by calm.
I have a feeling you two are going to become great friends.
One way that you can declutter your business life and reduce stress is to hire a freelance writer to help you with your content writing needs. To get more information on hiring me to help you reduce stress by taking the task of writing off your list, click here now. Hire Me