When my siblings and I were kids, my mother was notorious for what I like to call “Tickle Torture.” A devious look would shadow her pretty face. She would raise her hands above her head and mimic the movements of a spider with her fingers.
This was always our cue to run! But, she was quick.
Mom would catch and subdue us with ease and her infamous tickle torturing would commence. This woman, who gave us life, would completely disarm us and we’d have no choice but to endure the “attack” in a fit of giggles and writhing.
Now, you might be wondering, “What does this have to do with getting things done?”
I’m glad you asked.
See, looking back on all the times my mother nearly tickled me to death (I’m definitely probably kidding about this … maybe), I remember being pretty compliant afterward.
If she wanted me to clean my room, I was on it. Clear out those dishes in the kitchen sink? You’ve got it, lady! One time she even got me to take a nap. My mother literally tickled me to sleep!
Whenever we were being little monsters, Mom would tame us with tickle torture and it worked like a charm (I now employ this tactic with her grandchildren—Thanks, Mom!).
As I thought about how to start this post off, I recalled those times my mother would throw her hands up in the air, wiggle her fingers, and make us beg her not to tickle us into submission and I thought, “how do you tickle the task monster into submission?” (SIDE NOTE: We enjoyed the Tickle Torture and no children were harmed in the creation of material for this post. So, please don’t send our favorite girl any hate mail. We’re pretty protective of her and we wouldn’t take kindly to it at all).
Who—or what—is the task monster?
The task monster is your never ending, stress and anxiety inducing to-do list. And, as a work-from-home mompreneur who always has a crap ton of things to do, I’m here to help you conquer that pesky list once and for all with these helpful tips on getting things done.
Do a Brain Dump
There’s a space on my work space whiteboard specifically for “brain dumps.” Whenever I have an idea that I don’t have time to explore, I scribble it in the brain dump area of my whiteboard so that I won’t forget it and can come back to it later.When I sit down to plan the week or month, I refer back to the items on my brain dump list and add them to my list accordingly.
Start here to begin conquering your own task monster.
Set aside 30-45 minutes to do a brain dump of everything that you feel you need to get done. Include tasks for your personal and professional life and don’t worry too much about being organized here. The objective is to get the thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
Identify the ASAPs, Short, and Long-Term Tasks
Now that you’ve written it all down, it’s time to prioritize each item. Identify the tasks that need to get done ASAP. Put these at the top of your list. Then, list the items that can be done within a few weeks to a month. Lastly, list the tasks that can be done within a few months to a year.
Identify the Non-Essentials/Mental Clutter
If you’re like me, you might find that some of the items on your list really aren’t that crucial and may even be more distractions than anything. Free yourself from the mental clutter and completely cross items like this off your list.
Round Up the Strays
You may have trouble prioritizing some items. Create a new brain dump list to come back to at a later date. I would suggest revisiting the list after you’ve completed all of the items on your ASAP list to prevent unnecessary distraction.
Plug & Play
Now it’s time to plug these items into your planners and calendars and EXECUTE … EXECUTE … EXECUTE!
THE KEY TAKEAWAY
An unkempt to-do list causes stress and anxiety that you simply don’t have time to wrestle with. So, face the task monster head and put it in its place. Practice this as a daily habit and tickle that task monster into submission for good.