How to Recover from Being Behind on your To Do List

    We all get behind on schedule and off track at times. To be completely honest, I am quite far behind on my to do list. In fact, 25% of my total tasks over overdue! This happens when you get extremely busy, tired, sick, or some combination thereof. The most I have been behind in recent days was when I was sick back in March. Now again, I have fallen behind but just by being busy with a lot of things at the same time that are not in my normal routine. We all find situations where we are behind our schedules, to do lists, and are off track for one reason another. Here are a few ways you can recover and get your to do list back to current.

  1. Take care of the easier tasks first. Do several quick and easy tasks first to build a momentum. Depending on how detailed your to do list, you may have tasks that can be done in a minute or less on them. If tasks that short do make it on your list, do those first. Although, they may not be urgent, getting them done can help you feel more productive and then help you the bigger projects of the day. Also, having it off of your mind should be a help in general. 

  2. Narrow your tasks down. If the to do list for the day is over 100 items or some other amount that you know is unsustainable, then it is time to pick out the most important tasks of the day. It is important that we set priorities for the day and do what we are supposed to be doing and only focus on them. Seeing too many tasks at once will make you unproductive and paralyze you from getting anything done

  3. Reorder the priorities for the day. When we have too many tasks and we do have them narrowed down, it is beneficial to reevaluate the priorities for the day. Although all lives are different, priorities can change day to day in practically every field and at home as well. 

  4. Focus. It is always important to focus, but even more so if you are behind. You need to least set aside some good uninterrupted time to get a good chunk of what you need to get done completed. If that is not possible, do the best that you can. We can’t control all circumstances, but can still keep a productive mindset and can get ahead again when we put our mind to it. 

  5. Don’t wear yourself out. When you are behind schedule, don’t wear yourself out trying to get ahead. Don’t stay up too late or compromise sleep just to get ahead. This won’t often work and you will be more tired and less productive the next day only to fall more behind or break even at best. This creates a vicious cycle of fatigue and being overwhelmed, which only leads to being less productive.

While it can be very overwhelming to see a to do list with a lot of items that are not complete, the best way to go about it is one step at a time. Remembering what is most important to do at the moment will go a long way. In the fast paced lives we are living now, slow and steady doesn’t always do the trick. However, consistent and steady is a much more effective mindset to have in order to get back on and stay on track.