Making A List

How writing things down, helps me get things done.

I am a list maker! They organize the chaos of tasks, and give priority to what needs to be accomplished today.

My lists are fairly simple.

Stuff that needs my attention today:

  • Buy toilet paper — because I realized after finishing a roll this morning, there wasn’t any left to replace it!!
  • Shower/make bed/ take vitamins — it may seem odd that this makes it on the list, but it is important to recognize that self-care is a priority in the day.
  • Dishes — unload/reload whatever needs to be done to clear out the sink. An empty sink immediately makes me feel accomplished.
  • Project review — this is work stuff that needs to be done, because even working from home needs structure to be successful.
  • Process revision notes — again, work needs a place on the list.
  • Laundry — I am working on adding laundry to my daily chores. Just a load or two to keep the baskets from overflowing. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail.
  • Meal plan for next week — Thursdays are my planning day with Fridays being my make-list & go shopping day. And because if I had to do it all on one day, my head might explode, and that would be a mess I’d then have to clean up. You can see how that just stacks up on my task list, so I’d rather break it into manageable-for-me tasks.

This is often where my list ends. Somedays it will include reminders about dinner, or errands that need my attention. I seem to always find myself adding to the list as the day goes on. This is because stuff comes up, life happens, or I come across another task that needs done in to process of doing something else.

The most important thing for me is that I take a few moments to sit and organize my thoughts. If I wander three day without a list, I often find myself jumping from task to task without finishing the first. I allow small tasks to domino into big projects. Then I finish the day with a big mess, and a feeling of failure rather than accomplishment. So whether my list full and long, or if it is empty, I know that I’m not missing something.

Best Tips For Successful List-Making:

Be flexible – if you remember something later, readjust your list, postpone low-priority tasks, and nothing is set in stone.

Check your calendar – this makes sure than things like dentist appointments that you made 6 months ago and completely forgot about don’t get missed. It also gives you a chance to pre-plan for upcoming events. (i.e. Upcoming birthdays, social events, or teacher appreciation week shopping that is less stressful if done in advance)

Cross things off — even if you have to write down what you’ve already done. Crossing things off gives a feeling of deuces and accomplishment!

Be OK with not doing it all — some days we have grand plans to “do it all, be it all, and look fabulous in the process.” Those days, life seems to laugh at me and toss my butt back to reality. Reality is that this is a real life we live, and not a fantasy. Be ambitious, but also be realistic. If you accomplish it all, then celebrate! If you don’t, then celebrate anyway! Life is far to important to be weighed down by a pile of laundry or a sink of dishes.

How do you do lists? Daily? Weekly? Do you seperate chores, projects, work tasks? Are your lists broad and vague? Or are they detailed? I want to know what works for you?!

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