Having a To-Do list is an incredible thing.
It allows us to take the unordered chaos of our lives, the things we wish to achieve, the duties we have to complete and every single thing in between and order them on pen and paper.
To-Do lists let us take our thoughts and put them down into a tangible place.
I think they are incredible. I would be stuck without them and this website would certainly still be only a thought in my head.
Give yourself a daily To-Do list, and a weekly/monthly To-Do list (play and see which feels more comfortable for you – for me, it’s weekly) and start to take note of the things you need to do!
How can making long term To-Do lists break your goals down into manageable pieces?
A To-Do list doesn’t have a timeline unless you give it one. I suggest you do…
To-Do lists can be a great way to start planning long term goals and working out the steps to achieving them.
By planning out what you want to do you are able to break down seemingly gargantuan tasks into small bites.
How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.
By making longer-term plans you are able to break down a 10,000-word dissertation into research, planning and writing.
Equally, by the same logic, with using this logic you can break down the goal of saving £10,000 into:
- Find a side hustle
- Make first £100
- Repeat and save £1000
And so on
Of course, it doesn’t become instant or without effort.
Nothing in life is easy. It still takes work and still takes time, but if you have a clear roadmap to follow and you know where you want to go. Then at least you know you’ll be moving in the right direction. By having a plan and following it, you take the stress out of not knowing what you need to do next.
“Every minute you spend in planning saves ten minutes in execution,”Brian Tracy
The author of Deep Work, Cal Newport, talks about how he spends 10-20 minutes planning just a single day. This kind of attitude really shows the emphasis that planning can have on your life.
While there’s been a lot of backlash recently about the idea that everyone has the same 24 hours in the day there are many ways we can still use our time better.
By creating long term plans, you’ll procrastinate less, achieve more and have more control over where you’re spending your time.
And never forget, it is okay to plan in ‘wasted time’ if that will make you happy!
“The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time”John Lennon
How having a long term plan allows you to prioritise your life?
You can use longer-term plans to ensure that you get your big picture goals completed. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight:
By knowing you want to lose 4 stone in a year, then you’re going to have to lose 56lbs.
1lb is equivalent to roughly 3500 calories.
By having a daily calorie deficit (where you burn more calories than you eat) of 500 calories in a week you’ll have reached 3500 calories. This over an entire year will be 52lbs which is almost 4 stone.
Writing lose one lb on a weekly To-Do list or lose 4lbs on a monthly To-Do list will help you achieve this more than just wishing you could.
It would be a reminder of what you’re trying to achieve, and by achieving this weekly/monthly goal you would achieve your long term goal.
You could do the same for putting on weight!
(I am not a professional, therefore complete further research in regards to health and fitness)
To-Do list vs. Calendar
For some people, a list of all they want to do during the week or the month will be enough for them to keep focused. They can have it in front of them as they work, and each day they can look at it and make sure they are making progress towards their goal, crossing off each task over time.
However, for others, this simply isn’t enough.
Enter the calendar
By being able to work out exactly when you want to work on what then you are bound to make progress.
A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true.
By having a calendar you can input all of the events that you need to attend to and then start filling in when you want to have things achieved, if you have a blog (for example) you could make this into an editorial calendar, and you can start to add in sessions for Deep Work (focused time on a specific task) and time you dedicate to achieving your goals.
A calendar isn’t as easy to read as a To-Do list as everything is spread out, however, it will offer a much greater view of when things need to be done and will help you remain organised. This way you can spend your time better, focusing on the important things in your life.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and that it helps you realise that you need to start planning your life, and don’t just plan it and leave it there. Keep planning and tweaking. Change your methods and change how you’re going to get there but don’t change your goals if they’re important to you. We have one life, use it the best you can! Leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts regarding longer-term To-Do lists. I’d love to hear them