Some of you might have picked up from my ramblings over the last few months that I have trouble with anxiety and confidence, even to the extent of touching upon OCD at times.
A few years ago, I was introduced to the benefit of to-do lists. I thought it was great; uni work could be balanced with pleasure and I’d achieve loads.
It started getting out of hand. I was adding more on than I had a chance of crossing off. Simple things such as reading my book became a chore, a job I had to do just to tick it off the list.
It was more than that, though. Reading had to be done in time slots. Uni work could only be ticked off if I had done an hour. Writing was done by word counts and playing around on photoshop only counted if I made a set number of graphics.
I spent most of my time stressed. I couldn’t prioritise as I just needed to get as many things ticked off. It was out of control, and I knew it. Each day resulted in me focusing on what I hadn’t done rather than what I had.
I hated it.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I gave up. I was so frustrated, most of all with myself, that I knew I had to do something!
I hit delete on the entire list. It was a massive deal for me, and the best decision I could make.
I haven’t completely gone cold-turkey. I’m using a bullet journal now and select ten things to be done each day. Sometimes it is unrealistic, but other times it can include small things. Whatever isn’t achieved makes up the top items of the next day, and because I only ever select up to ten things, it means it never gets too out of hand.
I also do not add anything at the weekends, completely resetting myself for the following Monday.
I think it’s working. Although I’m not achieving all ten things (I’m not good at realistic targets), I’m getting more done in a day. I’m being more productive now than when I was trying to get on top of an impossibly long list.
I also am better at focusing on what I have achieved rather than what is still left to be done, accepting tomorrow is another day. Positive thinking is a lot easier when you’re only looking at a list of ten things rather than over a hundred (I’m not exaggerating!).
Another issue I had was with music. I wanted my play counts to all be the same. This meant listening to the same things each day. I’ve managed to stop, and am happily listening to my ipod on shuffle, not caring what comes up next.
Sometimes you need a little nudge to help you take control. It’s worked for me, and I’m hoping will stop me getting into any other bad habits.
How about you? How do you manage your time?