‘Do More With Less’
A little while ago I wrote a blog post on how I’ve introduced minimalism into my life, and I’m learning to actually love having less (you can read it here).
Today I’m actually going to write a little bit about minimal To-Do Lists, and how when we give ourselves fewer tasks to do, we actually get more done: we do more, with less.
Less what though? Well, less: stress, anxiety, worry, hurry, and brain short-circuiting.
In all seriousness, this week I want you to try and do two things:
- Slim down your To Do List.
- Stop trying to multitask.
If I have a massive To Do List (which I am guilty of) then somewhere inside of me I know from the minute I wake up that I simply won’t get it done. The minute I slim my To Do List down then it feels more manageable, I feel more motivated, and I often complete everything on that list.
Second thing: multitasking. Sometimes this is necessary- say, if you’re cooking a complex dish. Or even if you need to put some bread in the toaster, whilst watching your beans in the microwave to prevent unwanted explosions. But sometimes, multitasking is the worst thing you can subject your brain to. I tend to struggle with this one a lot. Because I believe I can be simultaneously planning essays, whilst editing photos for Instagram and my blog, dealing with emails, and texting friends back. I really can’t. Sometimes I’m also trying to watch/listen to a YouTube video.
In trying to do more than one thing, I never really do any of them. When I focus all of my attention on to one task then I complete it much faster, and to a higher quality. If I spend 15 minutes answering emails, 15 minutes on texts, 15 minutes working on blog photos, and then spend 1 hour on my essay, I can complete everything within 2 hours- and have time left over to properly watch that YouTube video, and enjoy it.
In the past week my To Do List has been growing ever longer, and my tendency to focus on one task has been pushed to one side (I blame being in the third year of my degree). Sometimes, what really distracts me from completing tasks are other, smaller tasks, which aren’t my responsibility (tidying up after my flatmates for example). Clearly, I have a lot of work to do in taking a step back and accepting that my glowering face and grumbling can’t force them into tidiness. One thing I have gotten into recently that may help you too: put your phone on to “plane mode” when you need to focus, and put it somewhere out of sight. In particular, this helps me in the gym. Being there is my time, and as I usually go in a morning it’s one way I prepare for my day. It’s a much more enjoyable experience without my phone buzzing away, and without me being able to see potentially irritating What’s App and FB messages- it forces me to focus on just my workout.
So, this week I am going to be slim-lining my To Do Lists, and also banning myself from multitasking. If you think you’ll be trying this out too then leave a comment , and don’t forget to let me know how it goes!