This might sound very counterintuitive, but just hear me out and let me explain how minimising your to-do list can help you get more things done
I want to start out with sharing this quote with you:
“We tend to overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a year” – unknown
We often tend to think that we want to do XY & Z within a day, and write down the longest to-do list and then get disappointed with ourselves when we don’t get half of it done. Which is highly unmotivating if you keep doing this to yourself.
But we often tend to forget, the compound effect of doing small things over a longer period of time.
So instead of overwhelming yourself within each day, try to just do 3 important things for each day – and then everything else the you do in addition to that is just an extra success!
Over time you won’t feel as overwhelmed each day, and the act of accomplishing what you’ve set yourself up for gives you even more drive and motivation.
And remember to have long-term perspective. I know the feeling of wanting to have it all done NOW, but think long-term and then think about the small steps you can take each day that will help get you closer towards your overall goal.
Exercise for you:
Write down a bigger goal that you have. Then think about all the small things you can do to help you reach that goal – and then start doing these things consistently.
In this post I want to remind you of a simple fact, and that is how doing less can give you more ✨
This saying might sound counterintuitive. But it really is true. When you give your attention and full focus to one thing, you will not only accomplish it easier, but you will also do it better, which will give you better results in the long run.
If you work on a project, while you at the same time are replying to emails, cooking food etc. then you do not give that project your full attention & energy.
Your work deserves your full attention. So do yourself the honour of giving yourself time to dive into and focus on one thing at a time.
You will come to see how you get better results, and how the work that you do, will be able to touch even more people, because of the energy you have put into it.
Read also: Learn to Read Your Body’s Signals
I was asked the other day about what to do when you start to feel overwhelmed in regard to school. I for sure feel overwhelmed from time to time as well, and whenever that happen I try to break down bigger projects into smaller tasks.
Break down big things into smaller, more concrete things
It’s really a simple thing to do, yet something we can often tend to forget about. You start with your big goal or project, fx I’m soon going to write my Master thesis, which for sure can seem a bit overwhelming since we’re going to write 120 pages in total, and that can seem very overwhelming when you haven’t begun yet.
Then you start to break down this big project into all the small components that the project consists of, fx:
– find a case
– read relevant literature
– take notes
– make surveys and interviews
– make a structure
– find relevant literature, answers etc. for each section
– write each section
– make references
Suddenly, instead of just thinking “I need to write this big project and I really don’t know where to start“, it gets much more manageable, and you can start to take 1 thing at a time, which seems less overwhelming.
Just remember to break things down int0 very small and manageable tasks and not too abstract things. Fx if you are in school and you are making a to-do list, don’t just write “read homeworks” on your daily to-do list – write “read chapter 5 in book X”. This makes your task way more simple and easy, and ready to work on.
This tip doesn’t only work for school projects or homeworks, it can also work for fx working out, planning a birthday, writing a book etc. Just sit down and figure out all the smaller steps you need to take in order to get to your bigger goal. Write them all down, and then take one step at a time. Once you have finished one step, then go on to the next and so forth. Eventually you will have finished the entire project/reached your goal!