Do you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list?

Are you struggling to get things done despite knowing this is the only way to truly experience peace of mind?

I am with you!

Usually, at the start of the New Year, I have a really strong urge to declutter and organize my home. But this year, it’s different.

This year, it isn’t my clutter that’s nagging at me. It’s my to-do list.

The trouble is that this time of year, it’s already dark when I get home from work. This, my friends, doesn’t inspire me to take action! Instead, I want to become a skilled practitioner of Hygee and enjoy the finer things winter has to offer, like snuggling up on the couch by the fire with a hot drink in hand.

But I know I’ll feel better – today, tomorrow, and even a month from now – if I find a way to be more productive and get more done. How about you? 

This spring, when the sun is out again in the early evening, wouldn’t it feel amazing if we could spend our time relaxing outside or enjoying a leisurely dinner on the deck instead of stressing about the tasks that have been weighing us down since January?

I say yes.

Do you?

If so, join me for the Check-It-Off Challenge.

All that’s involved is creating a list of 30 tasks that have been hanging out on your to-do list for a little too long and committing to getting them done in the next 30 days.

Check-It-Off-Challenge_simplify-101

Here’s How to Get More Done with the Check-It-Off Challenge!

Step 1: Create a list of 30 tasks.

If you aren’t currently using a to-do list, now’s the time to start. Do a quick brain dump of all the tasks and projects that are vying for your attention. If it’s been a while since you’ve captured your to-dos in writing, this won’t be fun. (Sorry, no sugar coating here.) But it will be worth it! Keep taking deep breaths as you fill up your paper with things you intend to do and remind yourself that it doesn’t all have to get done now. You have plenty of time to get this stuff done, and now a plan to do it!  

Once your big to-do list is written down, select 30 tasks for the challenge and write them down on a piece of paper using the tips below. Also, jot down today’s date and 30 days from today. This is your deadline!

The idea behind the challenge is to create momentum and get more done than you would have sans the challenge. Based on this, try to create a list of tasks for the challenge with the following criteria in mind.

  • Tasks that have been hanging out on your to-do list for longer than you care to admit. Some of mine include getting glasses, itemizing donations from a really big Goodwill run (last summer!), and organizing my passwords. You want your list to include things that you need an extra nudge to do, not something that you would do anyway.
  • Tasks that move you toward a new goal. For example, if you set a goal to declutter your home, it’s completely fair if you have tasks such as “declutter kitchen counter” and “organize bedroom closet” on your task list. Or, if you set a goal to eat healthier this year and want to start meal planning, that’s a great candidate too. Doing laundry, however, isn’t fair game, unless you’re really far behind and have been avoiding a mega-catch-up-on-laundry session. That’s the kind of stuff we want to put on the list.
  • Break multi-step projects into smaller tasks. Make sure your list isn’t all a bunch of huge multi-step projects. Give yourself some simpler tasks that you can get done in a single session. For example, a project like organizing passwords could include the following tasks: research password apps, update passwords, and then finally enter them. This tip is the most important! Often the tasks we avoid on our to-do list aren’t tasks at all, they’re projects without a defined first step. Write down the steps instead of the projects and see how this motivates you to get started.

Step 2: Get busy checking stuff off!

Your goal is to put a checkmark next to all 30 things on your list in the next 30 days.

Step 3: Share your progress!

First off, post a comment to let everyone know you’re in. Accountability is your friend, my friend. :)

Then, come back here and post your progress reports, comment on the Check-It-Off Challenge post on Facebook, or even post on Instagram with the hashtag #checkitoffchallenge.

I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next 30 days!

Aby

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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