To do lists help us to get our stuff done.
If you are like most normal people, your to-do list never seems to shrink. As you finish items, other items miraculously make their way into your list.
If you do not already have a list, the first task is to simply create your list. Just list all the things down, without feeling too down about either its length or the difficulty of the tasks listed. There can be few things that life our spirits initially that are so readily capable of dashing all remaining hope than a list of tasks we need to do.
Once you have made up a list is complete, prioritize each of the tasks. This can be done in a number of ways: some people choose to highlight those of greatest importance in red, those lesser important in yellow, and the least urgent in green. Others use numbers or letters - such as ‘A’ for urgent, ‘B’ for less urgent and so on.
This will help to break down the list into more manageable chunks. Also, at a glance you can identify the number of tasks that are really important - almost certainly a much reduced list which helps to put things into some perspective.
There may be some tasks on the list which are very large and involved projects in themselves. In this case, knowing how enormous these tasks are can become daunting. This will only serve to delay you from actually starting the tasks.
What is necessary is to take these large tasks and create a separate to do list for them. By breaking the large task into smaller constituent parts, each of which should be much more manageable, the sense of overwhelming burden can start to diminish.
It may even become possible at this point to start prioritizing the sub tasks into higher, lower and middle urgency, so that what you end up with is a list of overall tasks, and sub tasks, with anything important easily identifiable, and small enough to be realistically achieved.
Once a list has been created along these lines, much of the fear and dread will start to fade away. This is when the to do lists start working for you, rather than against you.
And you can begin to plan in rewards for when certain tasks or stages have been reached.
And now, I'd like to invite you to get your free instant access to a 7-Part eCourse on Secrets To Better Time Management at http://www.PlanYourTimeNow.com where you can discover more ways to use time effectively.
Shafir Ahmad of http://www.ShafirAhmad.com is the author of “The Experts Guide to Managing Your Time".