When your to-do list feels like death by a thousand cuts, try this to-do list hack to beat burnout.
In Jurassic Park, Compsognathus was the tiny dinosaur. It’s smaller than a chicken – how bad can it be? But, as we quickly learned, it’s not Compsognathus’ size that mattered, it was that it traveled in PACKS.
Kind of like all the little things you have to do every day – right? It’s not the one small request – it’s the 15 that come in. Hourly. So, you never feel like you have enough time, and are constantly distracted (key drivers of burnout, according to our findings in The Burnout Study in Women).
I call these little tasks Small S**t (or Small STUFF, for those of you with children paying attention… and they’re ALWAYS paying attention).
BATCH THE SMALL S**T TO DO LIST HACK
Small S**t WILL DISRUPT YOUR DAY: The Small Stuff typically aren’t your Reds, but they still have to get done. Without a plan, Small S**t will totally interrupt and derail the larger, more impactful tasks – and take over your day like kudzu (or English Ivy, if you’re fancy).
Examples of Small Stuff
- “Email us your preferences for your child’s soccer jersey #” (yes. For real.)
- “Sign up to choose a volunteer slot!”
- “Venmo us $5 per player for coaches’ gifts”
- Hop on Amazon because your daughter needs new socks. With frills and unicorns.
- Order Jane’s wedding gift
- Review the softball tryouts schedule
- Send that quick email, respond to Mom’s text…..
How to Hack Your To Do List by Batching The Small S**t (BTSS)
- Whenever you get an email about Small Stuff, move it to a separate email folder (I have one that I have labeled as BTSS. Yes, it makes me giggle when I see it.)
- If requests come in text or voicemail, either send yourself an email to be put into the BTSS folder, or have a separate note in your phone’s Notes App and jot it down there.
- The next time you’re sitting somewhere and waiting (like when you’re in carpool, because that’s where my soul day goes to die), open up your BTSS folder and plow through as many of those little tasks as you can in one sitting.
You’ll get your Small Stuff done, AND have less interruptions, distractions.. and stress. (Pause for a YAY!).
Meet the Author
Dr. Darria Long Gillespie
Author, Speaker, Consultant