If only you could conquer your to-do list, you’d be insanely organized and successful! That’s the goal right? Unfortunately, the reality is anything but. It’ so easy to get caught up in the writing and doing the tasks or downloading a new app that WILL finally make the process easier. As with all things, there is no magic bullet or foolproof method that will get you motivated and keep you on track. Don’t shoot the messenger!

Find your system, stick with it and trust your gut.

If you can set up some good habits in dealing with your goals and to-dos, you’ll be far better served in the long run. This might sound a little lofty and woo-woo, but trust me. I’m a gadget girl, I love new apps and have an addiction to all things shiny. Yet, the more I try…the more I get frustrated because I can’t find that ONE perfect system for me. The fact is, everyone has little quirks and idiosyncrasies that make it impossible to copy their exact system with any success. It’s all about the tweaks and adaptations that YOU need to make your system perfect for you. That being said, there are certainly some good rules to live by.

Here’s where you can begin:

What’s in your pocket? Most of us carry our phone around 24/7. You may be trying to cut back on your phone addiction, but when you use something every day that’s typically the best place to store your important to-dos. From a pure convenience standpoint, it just makes sense. If you want to add a secondary system for tracking long-term projects and goals, that’s great! Just make sure you have a quick and easy way to jot down tasks when you’re on the go, up to your ears in groceries or blinking owlishly at your ceiling when trying to fall asleep. If your go-to pocket item is a notebook, then the same theories apply. The simple answer is usually the best one!

The simple answer is usually the best one!

Create a ritual. Some sort of consistent reminder or trigger to plan your day/week/month is huge. It could be a reminder on your phone or just a habit you cultivate before bed/when you get up each day. You know what will work best and what you won’t let yourself slide on. Just make sure you create some space to brain dump and organize your thoughts each and every day. Once you have the system in place, it’ll become second nature.

Set your goals. It’s so easy to get caught up in grinding through the daily to-dos. Some big picture goals and aspirations help to ground you. When you hear that alarm going off in your brain about this “thing” that MUST be addressed…think about your goals. Does it push your goal forward? Does it add value to your home and family life? If you answer no to either of these, then why are you letting it stress you out? Table it and move on, if it comes back around then maybe you need to consider it again…but for now, move along.

Adapt as you go. We’re human and we’re very very fallible. We like to change our minds just because. This isn’t a terrible thing, change makes life interesting. If your current system isn’t working, make a slight pivot and keep on pushing forward. Keep things interesting and keep your brain engaged, provided you keep your goals in your sites…you’re golden.

As humans, we always try to distill meaning or don’t trust our own selves because we’re sure there’s someone out there funnier, smarter, better and more knowledgeable than we are. There sure could be. Yet, that doesn’t make YOU any less valid. The hard part is knowing when to tell your brain to shut up and just keep reaching for the stars. Find your system, stick with it and trust your gut.

The hard part is knowing when to tell your brain to shut up and just keep reaching for the stars.

Stay tuned for my next article on some of my favorite tools and the tricks I use to keep myself sane and on task.