Simplify your to-do list, you will feel satisfied because it releases dopamine in your brain and gives you pleasure. A similar sense of pleasure can be gained by releasing yourself from tasks that aren’t value-added. Crossing off something from your list can feel good because it lightens your load.
If you are like most people, your to-do list is a mile long and ever-growing. A long to-do list can be overwhelming and stress-producing. We are the ultimate decisions makers about what is on our to-do list, which means we have the power to choose what we will do and what we will not do.
You might be thinking, “Well, my manager says I need to do it, so I don’t have a choice.” However, you do have a choice. You can do it, choose not to do it and risk the consequences, or you can negotiate with your manager about it and how you do that task.
I encourage you to analyze your to-do list and move as many tasks as possible to your “not-do” list.
What can you take off your plate?
Remove tasks that do not provide enough value to justify the time and energy it takes or simplify them to ensure there is ample value for the effort involved.
If you dread something, you are likely to procrastinate. If the dreaded task is important and provides value, consider two things. First, is there someone else who can do it that may actually it? Second, is there a way to do this that will make it less dreadful?
If you have a lingering task that has been on your list for days, weeks, or even months – it’s time to make a decision. Chances are these lingering tasks are things we think we “should” do. Challenge yourself, if you want to or need to do it, then get it done. If you do not want or need to do it, cross it off your list.
Take control and liberate yourself from tasks that are not worthy of your time. This will free up your mind to focus on the important tasks that matter.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Check out my Leading Better Teams podcast episode: How to Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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