Email: If I had a nickel for every time I talked to someone about their damned to do list this week I’d have two nickels! 🪙🪙 (…please tell me you caught my tiktok reference here…)
But the truth is that the subject of to do lists comes up a LOT with my clients.
In the last couples weeks
- I’ve seen multiple tiktoks about to do lists struggles,
- chatted with a 1:1 client who is figuring out how to balance to dos and a hefty case of PDA (pathological demand avoidance),
- and in our weekly group call we chatted about how to prioritize our lists and how to deal with ever changing demands and priorities.
I wish I could hand you my patented “3 Steps for To Do List Nirvana” — Unfortunately I haven’t figured out the magic formula yet. 👎🏼
However, I DO have a variety of ideas that tend to cater to different needs and strengths.
One of my favorites that’s come up a couple times recently is The Parking Lot. 🚙🚗
A common struggle with my clients is the pressure to do lists put on us and the shame or guilt that comes up when we, once again, don’t complete every single task every single day.
You know the drill:
- You make a list for the day with 62 tasks on it.
- You complete 3 things, stressing all day that you’ve still got soooo much more to get through.
- At the end of the day you shamefully push all the unfinished tasks to tomorrow.
- Repeat daily.
Enter “The Parking Lot” 🚙🚗
Instead of a singlur to do list that dictates what happens today you keep a parking lot of shit that needs to get done. Maybe it’s coded with some sense of prioritization. But no dates
From there you can use your parking lot in a couple different ways.
1️⃣ When you start your day you pick 2 things (no more than 2) to focus on for the day. If you finish those things then you can go back to your parking lot and pick another task.
This keeps you working list of tasks only 1 or 2 items long. Much more achievable!
2️⃣ Or you can grab tasks 1 at a time from the parking lot based on your energy or mood. This approach works especially well for things without deadlines, like cleaning or home projects.
When it’s time to clean you check in with your energy, then pick a task of your parking lot that feels doable. Check in with yourself, pick and complete the next task.
Either way, some days you’ll crush a ton of items out of your parking lot. Other days you’ll do 1 or 2 things.
But instead of being pushed and pressured by your to do list, you get to pull from your parking lot at your pace and feel successful with every task you clear from the parking lot.
No more shoving an unfinished list to tomorrow.
Think The Parking Lot might help you? Give it a try for a week and let me know!
Heyo! I’m Casey. I’ve got a Masters in Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling. As well as several flavors of neurodivergence. It’s my mission to help you integrate the lens of neurodivergence into your life in a way that allows you to grow and navigate change with confidence and intention.