Simplify.

Stop making life so hard. Life can be very simple or extremely complicated; it’s your choice. Everyday you are faced with 100’s or thousand’s of little choices and you get to decide how hard each choice is. Knowing what you want makes your decision process easy.

What should I do today?

Make a list of everything you need to do, write this down. Trying to remember everything in your head is too stressful and you will end up forgetting things. Once you have your list pick the 3-5  most important tasks to accomplish that day. Write the important tasks somewhere you will look at throughout the day; I use a whiteboard by my desk, as well as Trello.

Trello is a free project management  site/app that fits well with this model. I have my boards (Trello’s name for a project list) set up in three columns, To do, Doing and Done.  When I start working on a new task I simply drag it to the Doing list, and once I finish it I drag it to the  Done list. Very simple, but very effective.

By simplifying your day to only a few tasks life becomes easier and a whole lot more enjoyable. Knowing what I specifically want to do in a day actually makes it happen.

What do you value?

Simplifying your daily tasks is a great step forward, but whats even more important is to do what you love. Everyone has something that they absolutely love doing. For me it has been improv and sketch comedy, developing interactive experiences and simply doing things with interesting people. I understand that you can’t always be doing what you love because you know, you gotta pay the bills. Guess What? That’s lie. The only reason you aren’t doing what you love is because you set your life up that way.  

It’s sad to say but the average person doesn’t do what they love. It is so easy to follow the current, but shouldn’t you only follow it if it’s not the best path to take. You wouldn’t use a GPS that constantly gave you excessively long and boring routes would you? Well, if you didn’t have a map or a better GPS you might have to. Don’t go through life with the crappy little GPS everyone uses by default, use the GPS that someone who has what you want uses and then change all the settings so it works with your goals.

Know your goals and use the best path to get there,even if that path is your own.

Make your dreams happen!

The switch to a fully fulfilled and happy life filled with everything you love takes time to build, but once you decide you want it and I mean really decide; it will happen.  Once you know what you want, the question becomes how. So, how do I make my dreams happen?  Simplify. Break down your goals into manageable steps and start replacing your daily tasks that  you do by default with the ones that will get you where you want. This is why creating your To Do list is so important, knowing what you want points you in the right direction. When you simply the steps, you actually go there. Simplify your life, so you can start living it.

The power of a white board To-Do list.

Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with work, so I end up either procrastinating and find myself on Reddit or I just go to sleep and prolong the problem for later. As you obviously know completely avoiding what you need to do creates more stress in the end because your deadline to complete your task gets closer and more projects and things to do keep adding up. The weight of all these tasks build and build until the stress is so large that the beam snaps and you either fall deeper into your hole or you reach the bottom and you begin to look for a way climb out. A To-Do list can help you with this.

The White Board

I have been using a little $10 white board as my To-do list for the past few weeks and have seen some awesome results.  There are many ways to make a To-Do list be here is what I have been doing.

The first step is to write down what you have to do. My list currently has things like Finish Website, Fix Mac Book, Laundry and buy pants. Throughout the day when ever you realize you need to do something add it to the list. By writing it down you no longer need to think about that task because the white board is doing that for you!

The next step is to rank each items importance level.  Give each item a value number, the higher the number the more important or the more weight it holds. Like real life achievement points, without trophies. Well the trophies are your call.

At the start of each day underline the tasks that you want to complete that day. When you complete a task either erase it completely off the board or cross it off.  Personally I like to erase the task the board because I receive a sense of accomplishment and a reduction of stress.

Where the board really shines is when I find myself wanting to procrastinate. Instead of fighting my procrastination, I take a break from the main task I was working on and do something else from the board. Although it’s still procrastination I get remove something from my To-Do list thus revealing some stress from my mind, which in turn allows me to focus back on my main task.

That’s about it for now. Leave me a comment and let me know if you use a To-Do list and how you use it.