Nagging Unfinished Tasks – NUTs

Everyone has them, and they really do drive us NUTS.

What am I talking about?  Some call it the “to do” list.  Some call it a “honey-do” list.  But everything on that list has one thing in common. It is not done – yet!  Someone coined the term NUTs – Nagging Unfinished Tasks.  How appropriate! I learned this term from a podcast, and try though I may, I cannot find the reference podcast.  A quick internet search took me to a self-help podcast, but since I do not listen to that podcast, I am sure that is not where I heard the term.

I think we all know exactly what this term is referring to and most of us agree with the term, since those unfinished “to-dos” can drive one crazy – or at least into a bit of desperation. So, what do you do with all those unfinished tasks?  You create a system to get them done. 

  • Take a week of vacation and get caught up
  • pay someone to do them
  • forget about them, you haven’t done them so they really are not that important.
  • put sticky notes all over the house reminding you to do those tasks
  • keep writing more and more on your to-do list (not much different than the third bullet point above).

Might I suggest an organizational system, which admittedly is a bit of an “all of the above” answer?  First, you need a few hours, not a whole week.  You need to sit down with your to-do list and your calendar, and a cup of coffee (or glass of wine?) and a printed version of the “NUTs Tool Kit” handout.

            What is magic about this system? it breaks your NUTs into manageable, bite-sized, pieces.  There is a maxim that says once a few things are “off your plate” or completed, the weight of the rest of the stuff on your plate seems much more manageable.  The trick is to prioritize correctly.  If you are completely overwhelmed, you likely have little initiative and need a win NOW!  This “Tool Kit” is designed to be done on the weekend. If you need a quick win, pic three easy projects for Monday.  Monday night – BAM! – they are done and you find motivation to do slightly more challenging tasks. Just like weight lifting, as you build more initiative and confidence, take on the bigger tasks.  Take this approach into account as you move items from the 4-square grid on to your weekly NUTs sheets.

            I would love to get any feedback from those willing to give it a try.  


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