That’s what usually happens with our to do list right? We add 47 things to it but never actually do any of them. We tend to forget them. Or maybe ignore them is a better way to put it.
Or maybe we do some of them, but those are rarely the most important ones. (Unless your house is on fire and one of your to do’s is put out fire.)
Most of us think of a to do list as an action list when in reality it’s just a list of things you need to remember to do. The purpose of the list is to remind you of the things that you need to do.
It does not help you get them done.
In order to get something from a to do list done, it needs to move from the list to your calendar. It needs “do this at 4 o’clock next Tuesday” in order to get done.
Almost anyone with a to do list – including those in your head – has way too many things on it. Yes, they all need to get done, but you don’t need to be facing down that formidable list every day. That’s enough to overwhelm anybody, ADHD or not.
Instead, during your weekly planning session (you do have one of those, right?) take a look at the list and see what needs to be done.
Things that have a time frame attached should already be on the calendar and not your to do list. If you have a birthday party at 2:00 o’clock on Saturday that should be on the calendar. What might be on the to do list and will definitely need to get done before Saturday is “buy a birthday gift”.
Pick 3-5 things that are important for this week and put them on your calendar. That way you will have a focus for your day and a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day as long as you follow through.
There are other ways to handle your to do list; I’ll be adding some more ideas next time.