As far as the program is concerned, we have only been making a to-do list for a few days. We’re trying to make a new habit, which can be hard and frustrating.
Today’s video lists off a handful of tips and tricks for getting this ‘to-do’ list making habit to stick. Essentially it’s a review of our To-Do List Commandments from Day 6.
Commandments of Thy To-Do List
Make thy to-do at the same time each day
Make thy to-do list at the same place each day
Have thy to-do list with thee at all times
Add 1-2 Push Goal tasks to thy to-do list each day
Review thy list often
The idea is that most things we do, habit wise (going to the gym, eating, weekly meetings) are normally ‘scheduled’, or we try to make the events occur at the same time and same place.
If events are consistent, we know what to plan for. We know how much time to block off. We know how this event factors into the rest of the day and we’re not blindsided by it. Having it occur at the same place, makes sure you are in an environment conducive to what you want to get done.
Positive association is also mentioned. Instead of thinking of to-do list making as a chore, think of it as something positive. This is the roadmap to your day. This is what’s going to get you to where you want to be and help you achieve your goals. It might take a little bit of time out of your day, but think of that time as an investment rather than a waste.
Triggers was another big topic. It’s not enough to make a list. You have to actually check it too, otherwise there’s no way to know if you’re getting the ‘right’ tasks done, the ones that move you forward.
Figure out triggers which will remind you to check your list. Things like specific times of the day (before work, during lunch, before leaving the office), or specific locations (office desk, getting into the car, walking into a different room).
Chalene mentions how one of her triggers is the number 11, so any time she sees that number (on a clock, passing a 7/11, seeing the back of her phone case) she is automatically triggered to think of her to-do list and her push goal.
It may sound silly, but it works, and it’s a useful trick for getting this fledgling of a habit to be a little bit stronger, a little more ingrained.
Make a to-do list
List when / where you will make your list and the triggers you will use
When Where and Triggers
When is actually something I struggle with. I am much more consistent about Where.
I always create my list in my room. It will either be at the end of my day or at the very beginning of it.
I prefer having my list already made when I wake up. My day has already been mapped out, prepped for, so all I need to do is execute. But there’s something to be said for brainstorming in the morning with a cup of coffee.
The ‘when’ doesn’t really bother me as long as it is either after all the action has occurred, or before any of it begins. If I’m forced to make my to-do list during the day I’m normally a pretty grouchy dragon for having my routine thrown off, which is serious bad juju.
And we all know what happened after the groove was thrown off…
As far as where, my room is where I am alone. My phone will be on DnD mode, my email will be closed, and though I may need to look at my calendar to see what events are supposed to occur, I make sure all of my messengers are shut down. Often times if I have music playing it is sans lyrics so I don’t have to focus on any words expect the ones in my head.
This makes sure that I can think uninterrupted. Again, the whole groove thing…
I make my list in a $1 spiral notebook. During the Back to School sales I stock up on notebooks so I have a stash of them for the whole year. I go through roughly a notebook a month.
I have several Triggers. Due to how my job works the hours 1am, 5am, 9am, 1pm, 5pm, and 9pm are all pretty important. Those are ‘start’ hours, so I use them as a way to force myself to check my list. The act of leaving a location, or getting into my car is another big one for me.
Before I pack up, or at least before I head out the door, I skim over my list to make sure I know where it is I’m heading with the rest of the day. I’m pretty serious when I call it a roadmap.
Those are things that seem to work for me.