Life is messy. Our brains are messy. Our day to day life can be messy. Sometimes, that messiness causes unnecessary stress in our lives. We rush around trying to figure out what we’re supposed to be doing for the day and trying to be the most productive that we can but, sometimes, it’s a lost cause.
Somedays it feels like our brains have turned into spaghetti and, as hard as we try, our days are very unstructured. I feel this. Too many days I find myself running around and wasting more time than anything else. I feel the frustration of wanting to be productive but yet not knowing how to fix this problem.
Does this describe you?
If so, keep reading, my friend!
The Benefits of To-Do Lists
The trick I have found to having a more structured day without running around and driving myself insane is having a to-do list. This simple component has been a life saver for me. It seems too easy almost, but it’s really that simple.
By writing my thoughts down on paper, I’m less likely to forget what I need to be doing and can have a more productive day as a result. However, even though this seems like such a simple solution to this problem, it’s still hard for me to actually take the time to write down a to-do list. Maybe you don’t want to take the time either.
Let me tell you, by taking the five or so minutes to write down a to-do list will save you possibly a whole day of craziness. Because when you think of the big picture, you’re wasting so much time throughout your day trying to figure out what you need to be doing. When, if you would have taken the time ahead of time to write down a list, you could have seen everything you wish to accomplish at a glance and be able to prioritize your day better.
Prioritizing Your Day
I’m an overachiever.
When I start writing down a to-do list, it seems I can’t stop. I keep writing task after task down until I realize that the list before me is insurmountable. Yet I try to do it all anyway.
Learn from my mistakes. Don’t do this.
We’re only human–we cannot do everything. And we shouldn’t expect ourselves to.
Now, that being said. There’s nothing wrong with being an overachiever and pushing yourself to be more productive. But you have to know your limits. This is where prioritizing your day comes in handy.
After you write down everything on your list, even if it fills multiple pages, take a step back and think about each task. Ask yourself: will there be consequences if I don’t do this task today? Such as, a missed deadline, a friend who was counting on you, a missed opportunity, or so on. Find all of these tasks, and highlight them. These are the ones you want to focus on first.
Next, ask yourself: what things can wait until another day? These can be like bonus tasks, if you fit them in–great! If not, don’t beat yourself up about it. You prioritized your day and accomplished what was most important. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
You can even ask yourself: what do I want to do today? Maybe there’s a few things on your list that you really want to do today. I would suggest highlighting those a different color and using them as an incentive. So, after you finish a task that you aren’t necessarily looking forward to, you can do something that you’re excited about.
By prioritizing your day like this, you can have so much more success and a happier day. I know I’m less stressed whenever I utilize this method. You should try it out as well!
Why Writers Should Use To-Do Lists
Everyone can benefit from this but, as writers, our brains are already used too much, we can’t be expected to remember everything. So when we can take this off our mind and make it easier, I say why not!
Not only that, but we obviously want to spend the most amount of time writing as possible. But if we’re wasting all of our time being unproductive, what’s left for writing? By utilizing a to-do list, we can accomplish day to day chores as well as any writer related tasks. It’s a win-win all around!
We all go through seasons, however, and sometimes that season includes using lists, sometimes it doesn’t. For me, I’ve taken a break from using to-do lists for a while now but I know I need to get back to it. Just know, you don’t have to use them all the time, but there are times when maybe that’s exactly what you need.
Do you use to-do lists? Do you ever feel like you’re wasting time? Do you prefer a more structured day or flying around spontaneously?
2 thoughts on “Why Writers Should Utilize To-Do Lists”
Oh, yes, lists are so necessary! Wonderful post. I used to be even more unorganized that I am now, but then my sister finally convinced me of the need to actually write things down (not just have a mental list.) Moral of le story: listen to older sister’s advice. 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Yes, I’m glad you agree! Thanks! Haha! Yeah, it was a lifesaver for me as well. 😂 If I left everything up to my brain to remember, I think I would go insane. 😳😆 Lol! Older sisters always know best. 😜
LikeLiked by 1 person