There is always something to do. It’s a simple fact of life as we continue to turn the cogs and gears of everyday living. Running a household, caring for kids, minding ourselves and fitting in our job, our hobbies, our relationships can gather up quite a heavy to do list. It can seem never-ending. It can feel as though we are getting nothing done.
Oh but we are! There’s a great productivity hack which can increase how well we manage that list and I can pretty much guarantee you will be using this one!
When it comes to feeling overwhelmed and overburdened with everything we have to do in life, we tend to pull away from the list when things get too much. Sorting out the car tax becomes a last-minute thing, cleaning out the fridge seems like a momentous task and any deadlines we have in our calendar suddenly look unachievable.
This is the problem with the “To Do List”. It’s panic inducing because it’s constantly added to. While it’s a handy way to set out our day, our week, even our month, as we figure out when and where we can do certain things, it’s still an ever-evolving list. When one thing is ticked off, another fifteen sit there waiting.
These lists become exhausting, even terrifying, as days disappear and we’ve yet to tick off the things we said we would do. It’s highly possible the list will be abandoned altogether, and then well, where do we go from there? Nothing gets done, things are forgotten, and our minds become inundated with unnecessary clutter.
What can we do about this heavy burden?
Flip it! Instead of a “To Do List” make a “Ta Da List” (which even sounds fun!).
What Is A Ta Da List?
Simply put, a “Ta Da List” (or “Done List”) is writing down everything you have achieved, ticked off, and said goodbye to (even temporarily). If you manage to do this at the end of every day, you will get a pretty clear picture of just how well you are managing that “To Do List”.
The fact is, we do so much more than we think in a day. Yes, we have to sort out the bills, put the bins out and put air in the car’s tyres, but those things are just a few in amongst everything else we do. From making the beds, sweeping the floors, getting breakfast on the table, brushing hair and teeth of possibly more than one little human, to making lunches and getting out the door in time for the school bell, setting up Zoom meetings, creating spreadsheets, making phone calls, dinner, cleaning out the bath and everything else. There are a million and one things we do which never make it on to the list because we simply do them.
The “Ta Da List” highlights how pretty awesome we are at multitasking and getting things done, especially when we can’t see how much we are actually doing.
Why Does A Ta Da List Work?
Being mindful of how much you actually achieve in a day makes us feel super productive. It shows us that its ok to have not met certain targets because there were 387 other things we did instead. Not only does it make us feel productive, which is always helpful when tackling the next day’s things to do, but it makes us happy, motivated, and energised. It helps us to push through everything else on the list because we know we can.
The “To Do List” will always be far too big for any of us to successful tackle, even if it is in one marathon session. Our lists tend to be a now list which increases the stress of completing them. When we take our small wins and add them up, we are motivated even more and the pressure of getting through that “now” list lessens because we can see how much we can physically and mentally do with the time we have.
Finally, sorting out the “Ta Da List” from the “To Do List” shows us where we are more productive, and highlights the areas which can cause stress or procrastination. It can give us a bigger picture of how to accomplish those tasks which may seem daunting and makes us more realistic about what we can achieve.
Remember, when you’re working on your “Ta Da List” write down everything you managed to do whether or not it was on that original “To Do List” and you will see just how productive you are.