Spring is here in Pennsylvania. I know it. The robins are back and Canadian geese are flying through. Trees are budding, crocus are blooming, and my tulips are coming up. I can smell spring in the air. That doesn’t mean we won't get at least one more snow storm. It doesn’t mean it’s shirt sleeve weather here. What it does mean is that life continues and I’m embracing the days of sun and blue skies and smiling at the gray days of rain. It also means I’m ready to breathe in and let go.
It’s time for spring cleaning and this month’s spring cleaning focus is that To Do list I’ve been collecting this last year. No, that’s not true. My To Do list has a few items on it from when I lived in Hawai’i, six years ago, so the list is more than a year old. Regardless of how long I’ve been meaning to do it, now is the time to throw back the curtains and shine some light on that list. It’s time to dhuck my responsibilities this month. Will you join me?
Here’s how to get started:
Commit to having one place where all your To Dos live.
NO MORE little notes that pile up, fall down behind the desk, or get tossed in a box with the other papers. I recommend one notebook if you prefer written notes or one app if you prefer electronic.
Notebooks can include a legal pad, your calendar (the pages at the back you don’t normally use), stenographer’s notebook, composition notebook, journal, your planner. Anything that can contain the pages that you write on so they aren’t flying around.
A few electronic apps to consider are Trello, KanBanFlow, Asana, your electronic calendar’s task list, Evernote, OneNote, or a spreadsheet. If you have an app you like, let me know and I’ll share it with the group. Again, the goal is to have one location to enter and review your tasks and projects.
Determine how you are going to get a task on your list
If your To Do list is in an app on your phone and you carry your phone everywhere, it’s just a matter of building the habit of entering your task or project on your To Do list when you think of it.
However, it’s likely that your To Do list
isn’t always with you, so it’s important to determine how those “I’ve got to remember to do…” things get on your list. This process needs to be an active process, not one more thing you have to remember to do. Can you leave a voice mail reminder or send yourself an email reminder? Where are you most likely to have access to your To Do list AND listen to or read the reminder?
Commit to reviewing your To Dos
Life continues to happen. Other priorities come in and push out what you thought you would get around to doing last month. That’s okay. Reviewing your list is not about what you haven’t done, it’s about scanning to see if any task or project is ready or required now. Reviewing allows you to Dhuck Your Responsibilities (Dump | Delegate |Defer | Diminish | Do).
Spring Clean your To Do list
Remove (aka Dump) those To Dos that no longer fit your life, your goals, or your dreams. I challenge you to let go of at least one or two. How about five?
Did you find a task on your list that you’ve been Deferring but you still want to keep on your list? Could you commit to taking the Next Step to move it forward?
I’ve planned a block of time this weekend to spring clean my To Do list. I commit to either dumping the five oldest or identifying (and scheduling) the Next Step for any of the five that I’m not willing to let go. Either Do it or Dump it is my plan. And I'm only committing to cleaning five so it's doable. My challenge to you this month is to spring clean your To Do list in April. Will you join me?