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Hi, Your to-do list makes you stressed - Time Creation Newsletter
October 07, 2008

Did you know your to-do list makes you stressed Hi

Volume 55
Here is your Time Creation Newsletter filled with ideas on how to get more time and have a laugh too :-)

In this Edition:

  1. Did you know your to-do list makes you stressed
  2. Action Exercise - Turn a to-do list into a Plan
  3. Laugh out loud - Five tips for the ladies
  4. More time management resources
  5. TIME MASTERY telesummit - SPECIAL OFFER to register F.R. E .E . before Oct 14. Register Now. After Oct 14, $197.
Did you know your to do list makes you stressed
and what you can do to change that

Did you know your to do list can make you feel stressed and ineffective?

I get frustrated, sometimes upset but mostly concerned for others – like Judy. Judy is a colleague of a coaching client of mine. She was struggling with her workload. She sees herself as an organised person. She uses lists everyday - many lists.

Yet every time anyone asks ‘how are you Judy?’ she replies with a big sigh ‘BUSY!’

Judy can’t seem to catch-up. And she is very confused and frustrated. Judy sees herself as a lifelong planner. She uses a to-do list everyday. Lately she feels things are getting out of control.

Judy has this conflicting feeling of success and despair.

She feels great each time she ticks off something on her list. “It is just about the best feeling there is,” she thinks to herself. True satisfaction and contentment. The despair quickly takes over though as she looks at how many more tasks are on her list. And then there are the other lists.

Judy has tried ABC prioritizing and adding time estimates to her list. This took up valuable time, which was frustrating. It didn’t help at all. Her estimates were inaccurate and almost everything on the list seemed to be an A.

Her list continued to grow. Even though Judy was getting things done each day and feeling good (briefly) about completing a task, her list was growing. As the list grew Judy felt more stress, more pressure and more out of control.

“It’s just too much work” Judy rationalised to herself. Most of the people in a similar role to her were struggling. And then there was Matt, who seemed to be on top of everything. She wondered what Matt did that was different to everyone else. Her pride stopped her from asking.

So why was Judy continually falling behind?

I have seen this pattern many, many times in the last 5 years and I believe it is happening more each year. Judy is suffering from two time management myths.

1. To-do lists are the same as planning
2. Time management techniques enable you to get up to date

Let’s look at this using a holiday as an example. Imagine you are driving to a holiday destination about 5 hours from home. Your objective could be to get there as quickly as possible or the most direct way or to go site-seeing along the way. Planning involves considering these options and deciding what you want. Lists have tasks that get ticked off. Like – Pack – Get petrol – Look at map – lock up. These can be useful AFTER you have done some planning, but a list is not a plan.

The goal of your holiday travel is to have fun seeing some sights along the way – not to tick off a list. The same applies to Judy at work. She has bigger goals than each task on her to-do list. Her job is to achieve the bigger goal, not to complete each task in her list. Judy’s area of responsibility is design and development. The bigger picture is about creating new designs that meet market needs, can be manufactured with high quality and at an acceptable cost.

There are hundreds of tasks that are associated with Judy’s department. Lists focus on the tasks. Planning focuses on choices and the outcome.

Judy decided to try my coaching program (thanks to Matt). It was a struggle at first to change her mindset. But she did change and the benefit was enormous. Judy (and many other clients) tell me that after the program their stress levels are much lower and they have a sense of confidence they haven’t felt in a long time.

How do you feel when you look at your to-do list?

Action Exercise:
In the next 24 hours:

Look at your to-do lists and find the tasks that have a BIG impact on achieving an important goal. Now create a plan of how to achieve the GOAL (not just the item on the to-do list). Use our goal achievement template to plan out how to achieve your goal.

This plan then connects to your weekly structure (which we talked about in last month's issue).

Remember to look at the Time Mastery telesummit. The event is designed so that you can listen to each of the teleseminars on the phone or via the web, so you save time on travel. I've signed up for this event, and am looking forward to soaking up the knowledge of these experts.

I hope you will join me. Check out the speakers here for the Time Experts Telesummit - Registration is free before October 14. After October 14 it is $197.

Laugh out Loud
Five tips for the ladies

Five tips for a woman....

1. It is important that a man helps you around the house.

2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.

3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.

4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.

5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

More great Time Management Information
Lots more time management tools, tips and resources to help you save time

Time Management Quiz -- A short yet powerful time management quiz.

Time Management Forms -- Download and use our time management forms to get control of your time

Time Management Articles -- A comprehensive library of time management articles with information that really saves you time.

Time Management Planners -- A short review of leading time management planners.

Thanks for spending your valuable time with us.

Michael, Graham and the Time Creation Team

© 2008 Time Creation Coaching. All rights reserved. Please pass the above in its entirety to anyone you wish.

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