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!

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    How do you manage your to-do list?

    Shelly Terrell

    Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations


    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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