Time Management: Tackling the Dreaded “To Do” List

This week, I had time off from teaching and was looking forward to catching up on a to do list of projects and tasks that I haven’t been able to get to.

But when it came time for me to get to work, all I wanted was to relax.  It’s my week off, right?

Well, I knew that if I didn’t do what I had been planning, I’d feel pretty crummy next week.  So I put on my big girl pants and tackled the list. 

When you find yourself avoiding your TO DO list, here are a few “tricks” to make it a little more bearable.

  1. Whatever you’re dreading, do it first.  Just get it out of the way. It’ll be over and you won’t be bogged down by the dread any longer.
  2. Then prioritize your list. What’s most urgent? What’s most important? (Note: “urgent” and “important” aren’t always the same thing.)
  3. Work in small chunks of time. I worked for an hour and then gave myself a break. If an hour still seems too overwhelming, try 30 or even 15 minutes.
  4. Reward yourself for the time you put in, not necessarily what you get done.  After every hour of working, I gave myself a ten-minute break with my current book or with a game of Tetris.
  5. Keep track of what you get done. Give yourself the satisfaction of crossing things off your list! It will keep you motivated to keep going.

Image: Rawich / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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