Day 24 – To Do List | 31 Days of Decluttering

Hello friends! 

Today's assignment is such an essential part of letting go of unnecessary burden that it beats me why this isn't included in all the decluttering projects out there! Today we are looking at simplifying your to-do list, and clearing out some of the clutter that we call our "chores".

With Christmas approaching and Halloween just around the corner we're probably all busy and stressed out. We're also tired of hearing ourselves say that we're busy and stressed out – or at least, I am. So instead of smothering ourselves with work trying to follow an unrealistic to-do list, let's do a reality check a see what really needs to be done!

The Goal

  • a manageable to-do list
  • less anxiety
  • less procrastinating
  • increased productivity & motivation
  • getting on top of your tasks
  • cutting down on to-do-list-induced stress
  • focusing on the truly important things
  • streamlining your workload

Guiding Questions

Is my to-do list overwhelmingly long?
Am I stressing myself out thinking about the tasks I need to get done this week?
Do I absolutely need to do this today?
Will I feel better if I do this now?
Do I waste a lot of time procrastinating?
Does this task energize me, or does it deplete my energy?
Which is the most important task on my list that can't be deferred?
Are there at least 2 energizing or recreational activities on the list?

Working Steps

1. Go through your guiding questions

Which chores on your to-do list absolutely need to be done asap? Which can wait till tomorrow? Are any of them only on the list because you think you "should" be doing them? Why? Are you procrastinating because you don't want to do the task, or because there are too many distractions around you? Can you minimize them?

2. Reduce and organize

Now I've talked about Marie Kondo's approach to decluttering a couple of times, but did you know that you can also apply her method to your to-do list? Not everything on there will "spark joy", but decluttering it to keep only the most necessary things that are worthy of your time and energy will definitely spark productivity and a little more happiness! 

The first and most important step to simplify your to-do list is to prioritize! Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the tasks that you need to complete (today or this week). If they're large tasks, break them down into different action steps. Then mark the one task that is most important – the one you absolutely have to do, no matter what.

After marking your high priority task, number each task on your list in priority order, 1 being the most urgent. Try to get your chores done in that order. If it's a weekly to-do list, write due dates next to everything.

Once you have done this, strike any unimportant tasks from your list. The goal is to end up with a list of just a small handful of daily to-dos and one "Most Important Task of the Day".

Remember to also make time for self care activities such as napping, reading, crafting, painting your nails, taking a bath, taking your dog for a walk, going to the cinema with friends... Make it your goal to invest your time and energy in projects that energize you and make you happy!

3. Celebrate

That was it for the day! Well done. My suggestion for tonight is to spend, say, 10 minutes organizing all the tasks on your list for tomorrow. That way you will know exactly what to do when you start your day and in what order. Don't forget to take breaks though :)