Never ending ‘to do’ lists


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Bill and I have just had a very full and enjoyable two months staying with good friends en route to visiting more good friends in America, staying with family in London and touching base here in the dale for two weeks before setting off for Scotland for three weeks, including a week on Orkney, somewhere we and our daughter have long planned to visit. The downside was an ever lengthening ‘to do’ list which I’ve struggled to finish before setting off again. You know, four things crossed off and five added! This morning I opened an e mail from Corrina Gordon Barnes, a coach I’ve known for years . She is an excellent  communicator who is making a real success of supporting women entrepreneurs.. Her mail was ‘stubborn-to-do-lists’ and I have share, briefly, her thoughts. Go to ‘ for the full version.

from the glorious Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

Why a ‘to do list’ never ends

1. Is an item so big that it needs total focus? Do it first rather than try to switch mindset from coasting to focus.

2. Do I need more information? If so, switch the task from ‘to do’ list to ‘waiting’ list and gather the information.

3. Does it feel too big and scare me? Ask yourself if the world would end if it were not done. This puts it in perspective; it becomes smaller and manageable.

4. Will this task work, is it do-able? If you are not convinced it is important, delete it from the list.

5. Have I thought it through? If not, take a break, go for a walk, put ideas on paper, use someone you trust to talk through the idea.

6. Is it boring? Some tasks are just plain boring so bunch them together, allocate a time to complete them, put on some music and whiz through- or get someone else to do them.

7. Is it an elephant? ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ ‘One bite at a time.’ Break huge tasks into bite-sized pieces and take one piece at a time.

8. Am I ashamed about something on the list, something I do badly e.g. sorting accounts out? Forgive yourself, get on with it or get help to do it.              Thanks for these Corrina.

Try asking the above questions for items on your list which are not done and see if you are more in charge rather then running after all the time. AND I finished my list, deciding, for one item, that I would get help to do it. After all, life is too short to waste time on the undo-able! There are lots more flowers to look at.

You have one precious life. Love it. Live it richly


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