6/26/12 Terrific Tuesday – Taming the to Do List

Terrific Tuesday – it is terrific to know that you can tame your to do list by learning how to use the word “No.”

 

We all have at least one to do list. Some of us add to the list once per day, others add to the list all day long. The thing that all to do lists have in common is the fact that there is always something that we have to add to the list. I am a wife, a mother, a business owner and a friend. As a result, not only do I add things to my to do list, my husband, children and clients add things to my to do list. At one point a few years ago, the lists were overwhelming. The lists were too long, I never got to the middle, let alone the bottom of the lists. Then I learned the magic world that tamed my to do lists. The word was not abracadabra. The word was not supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. The magic word that takes the sting out of adding things to the to do list is, “No.”

 

Each of my days has only 24 hours. No matter how long my to do lists, each of my days has a constant 24 hours. This means I only have 24 hours max to get done every thing on the to do lists. My five year old twins start trying to add things to my to do list every morning at 6:00 am when they wake me up by putting their toes in my face. My nine year old son starts attempting to add to my to do lists at breakfast by putting in his order for lunch, dinner and dessert. The sixteen year old teenie bopper starts her attempts to add to the lists when she gets up and will text additions. My husband attempts to add to my to do lists as soon as the kids are set up for the day and attempts to add throughout the day. My clients try to add to the lists by calling me all day and will email or leave telephone messages after business hours. All of these people have heard my special word when they attempt to add things beyond my capacity.

 

 

This is a copy consulting business to do list for today.

 

 

 

This is a copy of my personal/home to do list for today.

 

 

If you learn how to say, “No” you will find a way to get control of your to do list and your life. For example, how do you handle it when you have three hours left in your day allotted for business and clients attempt to add things to your to do list? Do you add the item to the list and then cancel other things in order to get that client request completed? Do you add the client request to the to do list and then don’t get it done and feel bad about it? Or do you take my approach: “No, I can’t fit that in today, let’s look at the calendar and see when I can handle that for you.” When the kids start with the “Mom, mama, mommy, mother, maaaaaaaaaa.” Do you cave in and try to meet their demands and to heck with everything else. Or do you take my approach, ” No, mama cannot do that today, let’s put that on our plan for tomorrow.”

 

Saying “No” is not easy for some. It may take practice. But, I advise you to start today. Learn to say “No” to things that are beyond your capacity. If you cannot do a thing today, do not feel bad about the situation. Hold your head high and say, “No, that cannot fit on the to do list today, let’s put it on for Thursday after 4:00 pm”  Learning to say “No” will make you feel better about accomplishing the things you do accomplish. If you do not master the word “No” you will feel bad about not getting to the things you added to the list that should not have been there in the first place. Start today, practice saying “No”  and feel the power, the strength and  gain control of that to do list.

 

So the question for you this Terrific Tuesday is how are you going to use the power of No to take control of your to do list?

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