Goal: What are You Putting Off?

Part of the Goals 2010 Challenge Series, Goal 26

I woke up today and began the daunting task of organizing my email. I have many projects, therefore, keeping my emails in their separate folders keeps me more organized with these projects. However, I often berate myself for putting these things off till they are overwhelming. I could have easily just put the email in the folder when I first read it. However, we often get so busy we put off some tasks till they build up and becoming overwhelming chores. In my case it is usually some type of cleaning or organization task. The apps on my Iphone should be organized. I should transfer the music in the Ipod I never use anymore over to my Iphone. I know I cannot possibly accomplish everything but I do want to be more organized. Organization saves time. Moreover, I want to be able to have peace of mind that I accomplished these tasks. Additionally, some of these tasks include having a nicer looking desktop or cleaner work area. This could help me when I experience a mental block due to seeing a mess. Some of these tasks would even help me accomplish other tasks more quickly. Therefore, I completed my short-term goal of accomplishing one of these tasks today. My long-term goal is to erase enough of these on my to-do list.  Here are some tricks I have read about, perhaps they will help you:

  • A To-do Jar– Write your leftover tasks on a small sheet of paper and throw it in the jar. Set aside time an hour every week to accomplishing one of these tasks. When you have free time, you could also pull out one of the tasks to accomplish. In this way, the task becomes a bit of an adventure, because you never know what you’ll put out of the jar.
  • Trade– This works best if you have children, a spouse, or friends you are doing favors for. Instead of just helping someone when you do not have the time, why don’t you see what they can help you with? Many times people feel so grateful to help someone who is helping them.
  • Make it a Student Project– Some of your tasks may be great lessons for your students. Sorting, evaluating, and analyzing are higher-order skills students can learn from doing a variety of tasks we do everyday. Moreover, students learn about the real life application of their classroom learning.
  • Outsource– Companies frequently hire others to do some of their tasks. You may know some children around the neighborhood needing to raise funds for a charity. In local newspapers or church bulletins you may find people who need funds in this economy and would love for you to outsource your work to them. You can feel good about helping others.


    What small task have you put off that you could complete?

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    This is goal 26 of this series! If you’d like to join the challenge, please read this post!

    Don’t forget to leave a comment that you accomplished this goal using the hashtag #30Goals!

    How do you manage your to-do list?

    Shelly Terrell

    Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.


    1. I am so in need of meeting this challenge. Lately my to-do list has taken on a life of its own. I keep adding to it and feel like I am getting burried by it. I love the suggestions you have given for sorting out the to do list and making it more manageable. Here is to crossing things off of the list!

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