Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Art of To Do-ing

Photo credit: cathredfern via photopin cc

In my Ideal Reality, I'm a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. I love spontaneity and spur-of-the moment action. But, in my Real Reality, I'm a planned adventuress. I love exploring and discovering new things, but I need a plan and some idea in my mind, no matter how vague, of what to expect. That said, it shouldn't surprise you that I LOVE lists. I love reading lists, and I love making lists. LOVE. HEARTS. STARS. KISSES.

I make a To Do list (or three or four) every day. But awhile back, I realized I was not getting much accomplished. I set out to figure out why. Here's what I came up with. Maybe this insight into my swirlicious brain will help you out, too.

Set Limits. I used to keep a running To Do manifest that I added to ad infinitum. This activity caused me much grief and anxiety. Finally, I decided that I would put a max of 12 items on my To Do list each day. Obviously, I have to prioritize (Musts, Shoulds, Would Like To). If I have a gargantuan task to kill on a given day, my list contains fewer items.

Digital or Old School? I tried keeping my To Do list on the Cozi app for a long time. I love Cozi and use it every day, but keeping a daily task list on it just wasn't for me. I went Old School with pencil and paper. Believe it or not, it allows me more flexibility and instant access (see below). You have to decide what works best for you.

Create a List for Each Day of the Week. Like I mentioned before, at one point I had a running To Do list that I added to at will. the never-ending list tricked me into thinking I wasn't being productive enough. So when I decided to limit my list each day, I went in search of a weekly To Do list template. I found the perfect template at A Pair of And they said I could just have it! (You can, too, just click on the link). I printed it out, slid it into a pocket protector, paired it with a bright blue dry erase marker and Voila! I had a Weekly To Do list that I could easily add to or subtract from with the flick of a marker or a swipe of a paper towel. Simple and flexible. I keep it on a clipboard on my kitchen counter for instant access.

Create Separate Projects Lists. This is where Cozi comes in handy. I generated four separate To Do lists on it: Ongoing Projects, Home Improvement Projects, Ongoing Research and Kids. Since the items on these lists aren't pressing, I can keep a running list, check them from time-to-time and not have a freak out. When something does become a pressing issue, it's moved to my Daily/Weeky To Do sheet.

There you have it! How about you? How do you keep yourself organized? Leave a comment below!

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