Do Your To-Do Lists Depress You? Let’s Stop That Right Now.

your to-do lists
Keep your to-do lists fresh.

Using your to-do lists wisely and well can be challenging. Often, that’s because our expectations outstrip our capacity to produce. And as we age, if we lose touch with our changing capacities, that problem is compounded.

So, it’s vital that you keep your to-do lists in sync with what you can actually do.

And that means, in large part, making sure that your to-do lists are serving you, rather than acting like your demanding taskmaster.

So step back and consider, for a moment: Are your to-do lists more depressing and guilt-provoking than useful to you?  I bet if you were sitting with me right now, you’d be vigorously nodding “Yes!”

But lists in general, and your to-do lists, in particular, don’t have to conjure guilt and depression.

What’s challenging about your to-do lists?

  • They’re hard work and/or
  • Scary and/or
  • Disappointing.

The paradox of lists is that:

  • In order to be truly useful and reduce the stress of having to remember scattered-but-necessary tasks, they need to be detailed and inclusive.
  • But, creating and working off of your “detailed and inclusive” list is going to be endlessly overwhelming.

Using your lists wisely…

So, what can you do to make the most out of your to-do lists without letting them overwhelm you? I believe that multiple lists are the way to go.  The trick is to not make it too complicated for yourself.  At a minimum, you need to have:

  • One all-inclusive list (this relieves the stress of needing to remember details) and
  • A second list that you use for TODAY.    This lets you focus, feel successful, and reduces overwhelm.

One of our early mottos at Finding Time was “Make the invisible visible.” This is a great way to think about your lists.

Use your inclusive list to make all of your tasks visible, but then think of this list as a filing system for yourself.

Then, each day, clear your desk and your mind.  Bring out your second list. This is the one that lets you see just what you need to focus on NOW. You’ll just overwhelm yourself (and decrease your effectiveness) by keeping too much visible at once.

And remember to adjust your second list as your capacity changes. This may mean simply being aware of daily shifts in your energy. Or it may be a matter of adjusting your expectations as you age.

And here’s more help with that…

Aging presents challenges for many people. And when that’s coupled with self-critical messages it’s a recipe for huge and unnecessary difficulties. The challenges include:

  • Sapping your confidence and energy with negative messages, 
  • Worries that distort your ideas about what’s needed and what’s possible, and
  • Difficulty adjusting to the inevitable changes of aging.

Basically, you’re attacking yourself all the time. And that leaves you at a terrible disadvantage, any way you look at it.

“Aging Voices: Bringing Compassion to Your Aging and Retirement” puts proven, practical, heart-based time success tools into your hands. This is an E-Guide to be worked with as it steers you to an ever-deepening understanding of the roots of your self-criticism. And ultimately, it helps you unlock the door to your freedom.

The strategies, tips, and exercises in “Older Voices” help you discover how to:

  • Recognize the language and tone of your own, unique, critical voices;
  • Counter those voices with realistic and compassionate messages; and
  • Enlist your fullest energies as you greet the changes that come with retirement and aging.

If you’re tired of undermining yourself and are ready to live every precious moment as fully as possible, click the link below to learn more about this transformative time tool and the bonus that comes with it.

Let’s explore time together …

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