Many of us create to-do lists (written or imagined) and truly, sometimes it’s very difficult to follow through. Especially when we didn’t write them, or we did write them but forget to even look at them throughout the day. So, we may end up not doing what we had planned to do by the time the day comes to an end.
While there is no research supporting that the human attention span is 8 seconds, we cannot ignore the fact that we have so many things scampering for our attention, and they can hinder us from getting things done. In my opinion, the major hindrance to completing the items on our to-do lists is distraction. If we don’t do anything, it’s because something else took its place.
How can we increase our efficiency in getting items on our to-do list done? Here are some ideas:
Follow the 2-Minute Rule
David Allen, in his book “Getting Things Done,” says if it takes less than two minutes, then do it now. I particularly like this because it’s easy to start when we are not worried about how hard or how long it will be. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ll eventually go. I’ve tried it and it works for me. You can too.
Make the List Simple
It’s not Nigeria’s budget, neither is it a project report. Many of us don’t like long sentences and paragraphs staring us in our faces, so just keep it short and simple. Write the action points down and keep it going.
While self motivation and being truthful to yourself is good, it’s better to let a trusted friend know about your plans for the day, a friend who will check up on you to ask whether or not you have performed the items on your list. You should also do the same for that friend if you want it to work.
There’s something about the morning that gets you motivated for the day. Whatever you do when you wake up sets the tone for the day; arrange
Learn to Say “No”
Saying “No” is actually a skill. There’s a street slang that says “I no gree no dey cause fight” which translates to disagreement breeds violence/fracas. “Yes” is very easy to say: it causes no offence. But the problem with yes is it wears you down, tires you out. Hence, we must learn how to say “no” to people, to things, and to events without burning bridges.
Don’t be afraid to say you can’t do something for someone or attend an event. You can’t love someone or a thing more than you love yourself.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with “a step,” not exactly an intent or a wish. So, begin. Also, remind yourself everyday to “just start.” Very soon, it becomes part of you.
These are the things that have worked for me. If you have some working for you, please share so we can all learn. Cheers!