This technique makes ticking things off a list feel 10x times better!

Some people are ‘list’ people.

I am most definitely a ‘list’ person.

I make ‘to-do’ lists for pretty much everything in my life – often the night before a busy day, I’ll just be drifting off to sleep and suddenly jolt awake with something I need to remember for the next day – up I get and scrawl a list on a nearby notepad or scrap of paper. Only then can I sleep soundly.

Lists are a pretty simple technique for visualising what you need to do – they can be as complicated (apps on phones with due dates, reminders, notes etc.) or as simple as you like (scrawling on scrap paper at 1am). I usually do a bit of both. The things that I’m listing are also mixed in complexity – some are tasks for work, some are shopping lists. These are the kind of lists that get ticked off pretty quickly as someone (my boss), or something (my dinner) relies on them. But I have also tried to compile other sorts of lists, ones very subject to change – change in my life, or changing my mind. These are the ‘furthering oneself’ kind of lists, the ‘what I want to achieve in the next 6 months’ lists, the ‘how to get my music off the ground’ lists.

Unfortunately, because these are so subjective to change, and the tasks usually require actual life adjustments, rely on other people, or even ‘chance’ occurrences, these don’t often get ticked off.

So on a list they stay.

A list which I probably haven’t looked at since, because the tasks loom, big, important, and still un-ticked.

These lists do nothing to alleviate stress, in fact they probably cause them – it’s quite overwhelming to see everything you want to achieve in 6 months, or a year, or 5 years, written down on a  page. So I’ve come up with a new kind of list.

I’m calling it: a ‘de-stress’ list.

These are (hopefully) short lists, trying to stick to things I can realistically do in a week. And these ‘things’, will be anything which is currently causing me stress.

Surely this is just the same as a to-do list?!

Well not really, the things I put on my to-do list, like doing the washing, shopping for food, doesn’t cause me tooo much stress, as I have to do these things on a regular basis. However, needing to follow up an important email, book the dentist, or buy a shoe rack, don’t often have deadlines, so are often put off and cause general underlying stress every time you remember you haven’t done it yet.

It’s the things that niggle at you, that you suddenly think about just as you’re trying to sleep, that can go on the de-stress list. Make something on this list your priority each day of the week, get it done first thing in the morning and bask in your productive de-stressingness – ticking off these babies is WAY more satisfying than ticking off ‘buy spaghetti’.

Zoe x

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