The Ongoing To Do List
Last week I showed you my organization system for keeping up with dates, school stuff, menu planning, to do lists and much more. This week I want to talk to you about making a to do list.
Many of us make lists only to realize that they just keep getting longer and longer. Whether it’s a daily to do list or a on going to do list around the house, we never seem to get done. I know I have been experiencing this for some time. A couple months ago I decided to approach my to do list differently.
First I made a list of all the things that we think needs to be done. This includes mending, gardening, painting, scrapbooks, yard sale, DIY projects, carpet cleaning, ebay sales, shoppiing for new life insurance, making a password list, clutter cleanout and anything else that needs to be done that is not a daily task. I wrote it all down.
Next I typed this list as a list on word with 2 columns. Nothing fancy. I tried to prioritize the list according to what needs to be done first. Not necessarily what I/we want done first.
I then printed the list out (2 pages). I gave it a couple days in case I needed to add any new things onto the list and made notes of what items needed to be moved up in priority.
I then edited the list to add and new items and move anything around in order. I then printed the list again. This time I got my pen and drew a line through anything that would not cause a consequence if it did not get done. Planting flowers is great but nobody will care if it does not get done. You don’t want to run out of time/money and have beds full of flowers planted but not the garden you depend on. You cannot can or freeze the flowers. I am not saying flowers are a waste of time at all. This is just an example. I generally have to scratch many craft projects off my list. I always see some things I would love to do, but I just don’t have the time for all of them. If you get the time and they mean that much to you, you will remember them and won’t need a list to remind you. Now organizing the closet ….. you need a list!
Next I deleted the items I scratched off the list and printed a new 1 page list ( yep I got her down to 1 page) in order of priority. I saved my list so I can delete/add new items from time to time. I have found that by looking at this list at the beginning of the week and just before the weekend, I can get some of these items accomplished.
I then placed this list in a plastic page protector in the front of my binder right behind my calendar.
The Daily To Do List
I have used daily planner sheets before, but they just didn’t work for me. I filled in every line on those things and could never get it done. Not only that, but it takes time to fill those things in.
I currently find that the index card works great for me. I keep a few index cards together with a clip and keep them in a handy place. Basically, there is a card for each of the next few days. I write on them the things I want/need to get done that day, doublespaced. Yes, that’s right. I leave a blank line in between each item. I do make 2 columns. I find it much easier to glance at the list double spaced. Not only that, but it will keep you from overbooking yourself. Things I have on my list today:
Finish Taxes (enter interest earned & file)
Laundry x 2
Check on CVS order
Call Newspaper about Thank You add
Thank You’s made out
Make DVD’s off video camera
Notice I put how many loads of laundry I will do on the list. I feel like it works best if you say “I need to do X loads”. That way you can mark I it off. Laundry is never done and it would always remain on your list haunting you. I feel a sense of accomplishment if I put a realistic number on there and get it done.
I hope this system gives you an idea on getting started. Not every system works for everyone, but you can try some out and see what works best for you and then tweak them. Everyone just needs a starting place and a little push to get started …..
Here are some links to a couple websites that I have found some great organization/planning printable’s on:
While you are visiting be sure to visit their other pages and articles. You can also subscribe to get email updates on each of the sites.
Coming next week: Using The Binder
What kind of organization system do you use? Do you have any sites you recommend for good planning/organizing printables? I would love to hear from you.