The Great Debate - To Do Lists

There is a debate going on about whether or not a TO DO list is a good thing. Most of the debate is due to the fact that a to do list makes people feel 'stressed, overwhelmed or a failure'.

I have to admit I do not understand why people feel that way about a to do list. To me it is very practical. I write down what I need to accomplish or purchase depending on the type of list.

Many of the items placed on a list is to assist you when you are feeling overwhelmed in order to track what is cluttering your mind and either do, schedule, delegate or do. This simple step allows a person to take control of the clutter in their mind and focus on what they NEED to focus on...

Lists are a tool to remove stress as you rely on what is written down instead of your memory... we all know our memory can fail us, even the most attune to our tasks we 'have to do'.

Lists, even those lists that are not completed are a benefit and not a 'failure'.

Why are incomplete lists not a failure?

Because you can look back and see why the list was not completed. You can ask the following questions -

* Did I over-schedule or over-commit or incorrectly estimate the time the tasks take?
* Did I have a number of unscheduled (urgent or emergency) situations come up?
* Did I waste my time? 
* Did I just not want to do the task? 
* Did I purposely procrastinate? 
* Did I search for reasons to blame others or other things instead of saying no?

When you ask those tough questions and seek real, honest answers, you are able to determine why your to do list was not completed.

One should not feel stressed, overwhelmed, or a failure because you wrote down things you have to do. The items still need to be done - just be realistic of what you can do in a day and accept that the list may carry over.

And then add a few more things to your list...

Not to do for others... but a to do for you...

* Take time to recharge throughout the day
* Take time to do something for you
* Take time to have your meals without doing tasks
* Take time to breath, reflect, and respond by being present...

Don't look at your to do list as a source of stress... welcome the lack of clutter in your mind and take time for yourself to recharge.