In the same vein as paying attention to the details, I want to talk a little about using lists. Not becoming a slave to lists, just using them to your advantage. Even if you’re not a list person, just read on and give it a chance. My use of lists might be different than you expect.
I use lists almost every day. I make very simple lists of things I need to get done and I may add a few things I would like to get done that day, but aren’t as necessary at that time.
I have a few rules about lists in order to stop lists from taking over my life. I only put 3-4 items on the daily list. Nothing more can be added to the list until I complete at least the first 2 items and at the end of the day, there cannot be more than 5 items total. Think about it, if you get 3-5 things completed every day, how much of a sense of accomplishment will you feel? I find it really encourages me and keeps me going. After the first 3-4 items, I am not obligated to do more, but if I can and I want to, I will. Once I get to the 3rd or 4th item, the list is done for the day!
I encourage my clients to use lists in a similar way. Many of us get so overwhelmed with everything we THINK we have to do all the time that we end up not doing much at all and then we feel bad about ourselves. If we use lists in a healthy way, we also get quite a lot accomplished with less effort and we feel better. We don’t forget things we need to do or ask or go to.
I find there are a myriad of ways in which lists can be very helpful and can even help us feel better about ourselves and life. Give it a try, but be sure that you set your own rules that allow the lists to be useful and not just a way to remind yourself that you’re not accomplishing what you need to accomplish. Keep it short, simple and only list things that truly NEED to be done that day. When it’s finished, make a new list for tomorrow and enjoy your accomplishments for the day!