Oh, the frustration of an unfinished to-do list! Those lingering tasks left without a satisfying check mark beside them. Before you simply roll your unfinished tasks onto tomorrow’s list, stop! Here are five questions to ask yourself when you end the day with uncompleted responsibilities.
What happened that left tasks lingering? Did unexpected situations pop up that took priority? Were you unfocussed? Were you working inefficiently? Taking a moment to analyze the why behind your unfinished list can help you correct the problem in the future.
2. Am I Being Realistic?
Perhaps your list remains habitually unfinished because your expectations are too high. You only have so many hours in the day and you can’t work at your peak efficiency non-stop. You’d never expect to write War and Peace in a day, but maybe that’s what you’re demanding of yourself.
3. Is Everything Necessary?
If the same tasks have lingered at the bottom of your list for weeks…and the world has kept on spinning, are they really necessary? If so, you need to make one of them a focus task for tomorrow and clear it from your plate. If not, get rid of it! Just because you’d like to do something or it might be helpful, doesn’t mean it’s necessary.
4. Have I Said No Recently?
If your list keeps piling up, are you saying “Yes” to too many tasks that don’t realistically fit in your schedule? When was the last time you said “No” to a task? Can’t think of when? Make it tomorrow.
5. What Can I Do Differently Tomorrow?
If you didn’t finish your list today, and you do everything exactly the same tomorrow…you probably won’t finish your list then either. What change will you make to produce a different result? Do you need to wake up earlier? Take an energizing walk over lunch so you’re more productive in the afternoon? Turn off Facebook so you’re more focused?
Come up with a game plan that will put you on the road to success.