Why Your To-Do List Is Constantly Undone and What To Do About It

Do you struggle with following through on the plans you create? Are you tired of spending time and energy planning just to get to the end of your week with little to show from it? I got you girl!  In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast, you’ll learn what's getting in your way of completing your to-do list. Tune in to hear why your to-do list is constantly undone and what to do about it.
Word for Word

Ashley Brown 0:00 [Intro]
Do you struggle with following through on your plans? Are you tired of spending time and energy planning just to get to the end of your week with little to show for it, I got you girl. In this episode of the routine and things podcast, you'll learn what's getting in your way of completing your To Do lists, tune in to hear why your to do list is constantly undone and what to do about it.

Ashley Brown 0:35
Hey girl, before we get into today's episode, I wanted to share that we have four new freebies for you at routineandthings.com right now. So these are four free downloads that I put together that will help you with your routines, and also planning. So just to give you a sneak peek, one of the free downloads is my top five planning tips for mindful productivity. These are tips that I use every single week to make sure that I'm creating a realistic plan that I'm being thoughtful about how I'm planning so that I don't over plan and that I actually stick to my plan. So these are some really great tips, as well as another freebie that I put together for you is a routine assessment. And so this is actually a download where you can assess the five routine categories cooking, cleaning, children's, self care, and planning to see which routine category do you need most in your life right now. So that you can start to build a routine based within that category. So this is a really great routine assessment. And this has helped so many women when it comes to them trying to decide which routine to start. So I know it will be helpful for you. So these are just two freebies, I have an additional two on the website. So I want you to go ahead and check them out. You can go to routineandthings.com. And I'll also place a link to all of the freebies in the show notes. I want to share that with you. But let's go ahead and get into today's episode.

Ashley Brown 2:01
Hey, hey, welcome back for another episode of the routine and things podcast. Oh, man, this is going to be a fun one because I've been wanting to talk about this. Why your To Do lists ain't ever done Come on. Let's talk about why is your to do list constantly undone. Okay, what to do about it? Because I want for you to thrive. Okay, so we're talking about it. We're going there today. I'm pretty sure if you're listening, you're not listening to this and you get the things done on your list. Okay, you're listening to this because you're like, Girl, something's going on. I don't know what Ashley but get me all the way together. So I am going to do my best to help you find out what is causing this issue. So that you can change what is going on. Because I know you want to thrive you're probably already thriving right now as best as you can. But I want you to thrive even more, I want the best for your life just like you do. So this is just something that I hear a lot from women, they share how they tend to not follow through on their plans.

Ashley Brown 3:08
And I can't say that this hasn't been me like because it has in certain moments of my life and like in certain seasons for sure that I haven't followed through on my plans. But for the most part, your girl gonna get some stuff done like she gonna follow through like it's like, yeah, yeah, it was interesting. I took a Strength Finders test, like a strength test that shows you like, what are your top strengths in life? Like what are you great at, you want to know what my first one was? My first top strength, this was number one, execution, execution, I will get some things done. Period discipline was up there and execution like, I will get it done. And so following through on your plans doesn't have to take you a lot. You don't have to be a super disciplined person in order to follow through on your plans. You don't even have to have a core strength or top strength of execution to follow through on your plans. You just have to know what's getting in your way and less move past that. That's it. So that's what I'm sharing with you today.

Ashley Brown 4:13
Because if you're having trouble completing your to do list, it's not you. It's your list, girl, it's not you. It is your list. So I'm sharing what contributes to this, what you can do about it. So let's get into it. First and foremost, one thing that is contributing to you not following through on your plans and not completing your to do list right. And I don't even like to say completing your to do list. So let me let me say that if you find that your to do list is constantly undone, one thing that is causing this is your to do list is not mindful, your to do list isn't mindful, it isn't thoughtful. Maybe you're taking what's in your head and you're just putting it on paper and in a seemingly organized way, right. And what I mean by seemingly organized way is, you know, it can be you can have certain because I've had planner, I've had multiple planners, and some planners are very much like, ambiguous, they leave the planning up to your interpretation.

Ashley Brown 5:16
For the most part, they only had like lines and grids and blank spaces, they may have a section that says to do lists, they may have a section that says errands, that is a seemingly organized way to plan, because it's not really helping you be mindful, it's just saying, Okay, what do you need to do? You start writing. Or what errands do you need to run? So you start writing that is not as organized as you could be that is not as mindfully organized as you can be. Mindfulness is thinking about what's going on in your life right now. Mindfulness is thinking about even how can you be proactive? Mindfulness is about thinking about how can you prepare yourself in advance, how can you try to catch up on things you haven't done? That's mindfulness, right? Being thoughtful in the way that you're moving in your life and the things that you're doing and how you're actually doing them.

Ashley Brown 6:16
So that could be one of the problems is that you're seemingly organizing your life, you're not actually being mindful about organizing your life or organizing the things you need to do. It's not enough to take what's in your head and assign the to dos to a certain day of the week. That's not mindfulness. So just think about that for a second. Okay, I have a freebie at routineandthings.com, a free download of my five planning tips for mindful productivity. And that's there for you is linked in the show notes if you want that. But it's really helpful because it helps you to think about mindfulness, how do you mindfully plan? So that could be the first thing but what do you do about this? You need a system or routine for how you plan, you need a system or routine for how you plan and that system and routine needs to be mindful, let me say that. The routine has to be mindful, because if the planning routine isn't mindful, then you're just planning as you've always planned, right.

Ashley Brown 7:21
But if you have a planning routine that's mindful, then you will start to create a mindful, manageable plan. So that's what you can do about it. Have a planning routine. That's why we have the routine planners on the website. Because this is helping you to be mindful as you're planning out certain areas of your life so that you create manageable and realistic plans that you're being mindful in what you're doing and how you're doing it. So that's what you can do. If this is your if you feel like this is the issue you're having when it comes to your To Do Lists constantly being done. The second thing to think about, maybe for you, you're planning in a hurry, like you're rushing to plan, you may find yourself having little time to plan, maybe you're not creating the space to plan, maybe you don't feel like planning so you've rushed it.

Ashley Brown 8:07
And when you've rushed things, this can lead to you not being thoughtful about your planning as well. Right? This can lead to you not being mindful about your plan, because you're rushing so I get it sometimes we don't have a lot of time to plan. I've been in these boats where I'm like, I don't have much time to plan. But that's why I created the planners. That idea because I plan in the way what you see on the planners that we have, I plan in that way because I have a routine and I'm like, here's my routine that I'm following. So even when I'm in a rush, the routine is guiding my thinking the routine is helping me to organize my to dos in a mindful way. So it doesn't have to take me long because the routine is there to guide me along the process of planning, right? And so if you find that you're not having a lot of time to plan or you're not creating the space, I want for you to really think about why are you not creating the space to plan your life?

Ashley Brown 8:56
Why would you not why don't you have a set time or maybe some days in mind for when you're going to sit down and plan why is that? And when you think about that just try to you know, get curious and say well what can I do to actually create space because I promise you you can carve out at least 15 minutes to plan 20 minutes to plan one day in a week like at least and so if you're not doing that really get curious about why but what you can do about this if you're planning in a hurry is like I say create time and space for planning create time and space for planning. Also have a planner that guides your thinking even when you're in a hurry because if you have something that's doing if you have a planner that's doing some of the thinking for you, that means you're not pulling so hard on your mental capacity to plan and you're like okay is saying do this is saying do that.

Ashley Brown 9:51
Alright, let me just go ahead and do what this, what it's saying right sometimes in life is not conducive for us to have to pull so heavy on our mental capacity to get something done, sometimes it's very beneficial for us to have help to have guidance. And so if you have a planner that guides your thinking, then even when you're in a rush, even when you only have a little bit of time to plan, you will still do it, you will still get it done, you will still plan which is really beneficial and useful for you. So I know that our routine planners do this. I'm just saying that's a special thing about our planners, so you can go check them out, the link below. But that is something I want you to think about. Are you planning in a hurry? And if so, think about why become curious as to why create time and space for you to actually plan, get you a plan that works for you get you a planner that's going to help guide your thinking.

Ashley Brown 10:40
Okay, the third thing I want for you to think about and this could be contributing to you not getting your to do list done, right, on a consistent basis. Maybe it's you're too tied to the belief that you have to stick to your plan. Oh, child, honey. Oh, my gosh, let me say that again, maybe you're too tied to the belief that you have to stick to your plan. Because some of us don't want to change plan. Some of us don't like change. Most of us don't most of us do not like change because it's not an our natural way. As humans to like really invite in change, we have to really work up to that point. So when you create a plan, right, you're like, Okay, I created this plan to stick to it. What was the point of me creating a plan if I'm not gonna stick to the plan? If I'm not, if I'm gonna just change the plan? What is the point of me taking out time to plan? Oh, my gosh, I've heard this. Every time I hear this. I'm like, no mindset, let's reframe because a plan is a reference.

Ashley Brown 11:48
First of all, a plan you planning does many things for you, it decreases your mental load, because you're decluttering your mind, you're taking things out of your head, and putting them somewhere else that's not in your head, which is beneficial for you. Right, helps you clear your head. Planning also is a reference for you to help guide you and keep you on track with the things that matter to you the things you either want to get done, or you need to get done. It's a reference. So even when you know change is coming does not negate the fact that you don't plan that doesn't mean you don't plan just because you know, oh, well, we're gonna have this come up on Thursday, we're gonna have a whole different day, it's gonna look so different. So let me not plan this week, or we only have two days of the week that we're actually here at home. And so the other days, we're going on vacation, so let's not plan this week. No, no, you plan because it's a reference for you to still move forward and make progress in your life in the ways that you need and want to. So even when your plans change is okay, you just rework the plan, right?

Ashley Brown 12:59
And so this is what you do. If you find that this might be a reason why you are not getting your To Do Lists done in the way that you would like, because I'm not the type where I'm like, Oh my God, every box got to be checked off my to do list. I dropped that a long time ago. No, but if you feel as if you are not getting many of the things done that really hold weight with you and your heart, and this is happening on a consistent basis. And it may be tied to the fact that you can't drop the belief that you have to stick to your plan. What you're going to do about it and what you can do about it is give yourself permission to rework the plan. Give yourself permission to reassess and replan. Don't be afraid to mark things off of your planner. Don't be afraid to be scratching some stuff. I'm going to show y'all I'm gonna do this on Instagram after a week I'm gonna show you how my plan looks because I'm telling you I will scratch something off in a minute.

Ashley Brown 13:55
That's why many times I've write with erasable pens or pencils sometimes mostly erasable pens, just because I like writing with pens, but that's why because I know my life has changed my life hat is fluid, it's not static, it's not going to stay the same every single day is gonna look pretty similar most days but it's not the same every single day Things are gonna come into play where now I need to do this instead of that so I'm not going to try to stick to a plan when it does not work I'm putting more harm on myself right when you do that when you're so tied to the fact you have to stick to your plan especially when things are coming in that's like but but baby doll we got to come like this got to switch up some. You're only harming yourself, you're only doing yourself more of really a mental disservice. You're only putting more mental weight on yourself because you're trying to still stick to a plan that is not working no more. So give yourself permission to reassess and rework the plan is okay because this could be why maybe you aren't getting things done on your to do list is because you're still trying to stick to a plan that doesn't work. It's okay to rework it.

Ashley Brown 15:03
Okay, I think I'm done for today, I think I'm done I hope that this was very helpful for you because I'm telling you these are some things that I see many times that keep us stuck when it comes to moving forward with our goals when it comes time to actually continue to do things in our life that brings us joy when we plan in ways that are not conducive in ways that are not beneficial. When we are so tied to the belief that once we do something once we plan it has to be that way it has to it has to be or what's going to happen nothing boo nothing is going to happen if you change your plan. The only thing that's going to happen is that you probably gonna feel a little bit more relief and you're gonna get more done on your to do list so let's not be so tied to that belief that we have to stick to our plan let's also stop planning in our hurry let's keep our plans mindful let's plan with intentionality.

Ashley Brown 16:04
Okay, all right, so I'm off my soapbox let me go ahead and wrap up this episode if you enjoyed this episode today if you could do me a favor and rate and review, rate and review. Share the episode was someone who needs this if you know you got a friend you got a homegirl she always like girl I didn't get nothing done on my to do list hardly and she constantly says this to you go ahead and text her the episode right now hit that little Share button go ahead and share the episode with her she's going to thank you later but that would be really helpful. Especially the rating and reviewing the the podcasts and also sharing as well as check out our routine planners. If you are wanting a planner that really helps to guide your thinking that helps you to think less helps you to really organize your mental to do list in a way that is realistic, that is manageable. If you want a way to plan with ease. Those planners are for you. I'm telling you. They're so so helpful. They are linked below. But until next time, girl I hope that you continue to enjoy wherever you are, whatever you're doing, happy planning, and I will talk to you next week.

Ashley Brown 17:11 [Outro]
Thanks for listening. If you enjoy today's episode, take a screenshot and share it on social I would love to know you're listening and for tools to help you start maintain and enjoy your routines. Be sure to head to routineandthings.com. Here's to staying happy

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