Organize Your Thoughts
Have you ever been paralyzed with anxiety? You have so many things to do and it feels like no time do to any of it. I've felt like this on numerous occasions.
I needed to organize my thoughts.
I know what you may be saying, I don't have time for that! Trust me, you don't have time for anxiety and this is your ticket out of that.
What you'll need:
Several pieces of notebook paper, construction paper, a white board or a legal pad and your favorite writing utensil.
Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down every to do in your head. Don't worry about order or length of time it will take you complete the task, just get it on paper. (think feed the dog, paint the house, pay the bills, buy the birthday present, start a blog, all of it)
You now realize that 5 minutes is a lot longer than you first thought and you have a pretty significant list before you. Now get out 3 sheets of paper or divide a whiteboard into 3 sections.
Dream List -Tasks you would like to do over the next year or two.
30 Day List - Tasks you want or have to accomplish in the next month.
Action List - Tasks you must accomplish today.
Looking at your long list of tasks you will put each in one of these categories. You may even go through the list quickly and see a laundry list of items you want to put in one category or another.
Get started. Mark items off that action list like a boss! Doesn't that feel great? This is the power of momentum and how I want you to feel daily.
Tomorrow create a new action list from your 30 day list, keep carrying items over until the 30 days has passed.
Reevaluate the 30 day and dream lists monthly to move items into their new category so you get things accomplished and stop living in analysis paralysis.
Here's an example of what mine looked like in December. I'm happy to report everything in the 30 day list was all accomplished and even some dream items are coming to fruition. You'll notice I listed everything personal and business. I have to have a brain dump all in one place or my anxiety will creep back in.
Be cognizant of the time you have to spend in a day.
For instance I have 30 hours a week to work my business. This includes seeing clients, free consultations, writing this blog, marketing and continuing education.
A healthy 30 day list
Just like the daily action list think long and hard about the next 30 days. I know in my house 2 weeks of mine includes Christmas break for my kindergartner, family gatherings and visitors. This means, at most, 5 hour work weeks in 2 of the next 4 weeks. So am I going to solve world hunger in the next 30 days? I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that. Be kind to yourself and allow family moments. Some things truly can wait.
Instead start with a feeling. How do you want to feel in 30 days? What do you want to have accomplished in the small amount of time available to you?
The greatest thing to me about these lists is it gives me purpose and helps me hone in on the goals I want to accomplish BUT it also helps me value my time.
Are there things you could cut out? Late night Facebook scrolling? Mindless trash TV? How much value is this adding to your life and how much more joy would accomplishing your lists bring you?
But what if I don't know where something should go?
If you aren't sure where something should go then it's definitely not an action list item so then ask yourself "if I don't accomplish this in 30 days what are the consequences?" If the answer is, there aren't any, put it on the dream list.
What if I have too many items on my action list?
Think deeper about the items on your list. Do they HAVE to be accomplished today or can they wait until tomorrow or 3 days from now? What is the urgency you feel to complete this task?
I would also suggest thinking about how much time each item on that action list will take and creating an action list for a 3 day block if that helps.
I remember as a child seeing my mother with lists. I thought this was boring because I assumed she wasn't having fun. Now as an adult I see the list for what it is, a gateway to freedom, satisfaction and fun!
Happy list making!