to-do list dilemmas text on an iPad screen

To-Do List Dilemmas

From the Food Blogger’s Confessional Series

I’ve been running my own businesses for over 10 years now. One of the things that still jerks my chain is my inability to get as much done each day as my to-do list requires. No matter what, I always fall short and end my days with feelings of angst instead of feelings of accomplishment.

Food Blogging To Do List Dilemmas

Even if you’re new to food blogging, I’m sure that you’ve had these moments. There is no shortage of projects to be completed and tasks to be checked off.

The Problem: Your To Do List

I was complaining about this to a friend a few months ago and she said: maybe the problem isn’t you, maybe it’s your to do list. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it hadn’t really occurred to me that I was likely setting myself up for failure. How? By simply overloading my daily to-do list.

I mean, I intellectually understood that by the time I’ve shopped, cooked, tested, cleaned, photographed, written and edited, that one new recipe post takes me anywhere from 8-10 hours. But I somehow couldn’t stop myself from adding new posts to my to-do list like I could dash them off in an hour.

Until, that is, someone pointed it out to me.

How to Better Manage Your To Do List

Since then, I’ve been trying to think more critically about what needs to be done, in what order and how long that task might take. And, I’ve revised my to-do list to reflect this.

Food Blogging To Do List Dilemmas

I still write everything down as it occurs to me. But my to-do is no longer a single column of items, but three columns. One for things that must be done that day. Things that need to be finished by the end of the week. And, finally, big projects that I aspire to complete within the next few months.

Now, when I sit down to work, I check off those items on my daily to-do list. Then I chip away as those items that I need to complete that week. And, when I am tired of chipping away at my weekly tasks, I’ll take a bite out of a bigger project. This way, everything keeps moving forward, but I end the day feeling as though I’ve made progress.

There’s More to This Job Than Checking Off a To Do List

And that, more than anything, is what’s important. Let’s face it… most of us started our own businesses out of a passion for a certain topic. We did it because it’s way more fun to work on things that are interesting than it is to just go to a job. And when we punish ourselves every evening for missing an impossible goal, we’re taking the fun out it.

So, here’s to making your to-do lists… and then checking them twice. Just to make sure that they’re reasonable.