Growth happens


Some days, you open your task app, look at your today list, and think “I’ve got this.”

Your list looks do-able. It feels about right—not too long, not too difficult. It calls to you and says, “Let’s get this done!”

Other days, you open your list and think, “Crap!” There’s too much to do, everything looks important and difficult, and you realize you’ll never get it all done today.

Your list is overwhelming. You don’t even want to look it let alone get to work.

We do our best to avoid loading up our lists with too many tasks. But we’re human and often bite off more than we can chew.

Our weekly review helps. But over time, we tend to add new tasks faster than we finish old ones, so our lists are perpetually growing.

Which means, despite our best efforts, sometimes our lists get out of control.

When that happens, it’s time to do some maintenance and repairs.

Which is what I did this past weekend.

I knew it was time because I found myself deferring more tasks each day than I was actually doing.

That’s called a clue.

The first thing I did was go through my lists, cut out tasks I knew I wasn’t going to do, and consolidate duplicates. That probably reduced the total by 15% or 20%. Not a bad start.

I usually keep 4 primary lists: Today, Next (this week), Later, and Someday/Maybe. The next thing I did was go through my lists again and “downgrade” tasks.

I moved some Today tasks to Next, Next tasks to Later, and Later tasks to Someday. Doing that means I won’t have to look at as many tasks each day and each week.

And that makes a huge difference.

When “Today” has no more than 10 tasks on it, I know I can get that done. More than that and I feel resistance.

It wasn’t a complete task reset. More like grooming my lists and making them more presentable. A long overdue shave and a haircut.

Moving forward, there are two things left to do.

First, I still need to go through my Someday/Maybe list and give that a trim. That’s scheduled for the end of this month.

The other thing I need to do to keep my lists manageable is schedule a new recurring task, to do what I did this weekend every 60 days.

Coincidentally, we had the trees in our front yard trimmed this weekend. We’ll have to do that again next year.

Because growth happens.