Ever felt overwhelmed by all the stuff you have to get done? Have you ever heard of the Zeigarnik effect? Essentially it is about remembering uncompleted tasks more that completed ones. The problem with this is it drives subconscious stress for you for uncompleted tasks because you don’t have a plan for them. Most of the time you need to reduce your commitments to have less stress. If you can’t do that you at least need a plan for the ones you have.
The To Do List
A to do list is ineffective because you can’t just add something to the list and get rid of the stress of it being undone. What happens when you mark things off? Do you still add new things to do? A person is never done, similar to a piece of software. That is why you see version 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, etc. We are constantly evolving.
Another problem with to do lists is they allow you to say yes to too many things. If you have a to do list and someone asks you do do something you just add it to the bottom. Sure I can get that done. You don’t even think about the time commitment it will take to get it done.
How To Reduce Your Commitments
Keep a notebook or call it a to do list if you want of the things you have to do. Think of that more as an inventory of things to do and remember the goal is to reduce your commitments. Think long and hard about adding to that list because the next step is critical. It has to go on your calendar. I don’t care which calendar app you use, or if you just use paper. I used this site yesterday just to create a printable one. You can also use the Best Self Jornal which I find perfect for more than just planning the day.
Then stick to that calendar. You will get better at estimating time as you reduce your commitments. From that you will get better at what you can actually accomplish in a day. That will drive you to get more important things done. Best of all the stress of getting everything done will be lifted off of you. If you have seen my frequent task timelist then you will learn how to better estimate the time of your tasks.
Best of All
You are using tools of highly successful people. These are the tactics that the ultra productive use to get their most important items done and understand what they can take on. Just start today, and make it a regular habit. Calendar out each individual day, minute my minute. One should remember we all have those same amount of minutes. Those who are successful make each one count! Mark Cuban says he doesn’t take a meeting unless someone is writing him a check. Now that is a way to reduce your commitments!