Monday, February 17, 2014

Tackle That To-Do List

Are you a list maker?

Do you feel accomplishment when you cross something off that list?

Do you sometimes add items that you have already finished to your list, just so you can cross them off?

You are not alone.

I am a list maker.  With that sometimes I feel like I will never get anything done on that list.  I feel like it grows and grows, with end in sight.  I've decided it's time to put alittle perspective on my list.  Maybe I am not super woman, maybe I can only get so much done in a week, a month, a year.  In a way it was time to get real.  This is what I have been trying for the past couple of months, and I feel like I'm getting more accomplished, and mostly I have stopped beating myself up when I forget to the dishwasher on before I go to bed.  Hopefully, these tips will help you tame your to-do list.

1.  Limit the number of items on your list.
Sounds easy.  It's not.  I write things done so I don't forget them.  It's that simple. 

Trying listing groups of  'like' things together.  Instead of writing out those tasks separately so that they don't feel so overwhelming.  For example: instead of writing out each bill that needs to be paid separately I created a heading of 'Pay Bill' with each bill that needs to be paid listed under that heading (you still get the thrill of crossing things off)

Consider how much time you have to get everything done.  Obviously, it's easy to get 10 things done on a Saturday, so 10 items on Saturday is probably okay.  Now on Monday night, that's alittle different.  Figure this way, say you get home by 5:30, and you go to bed by 10:00 - that leaves roughly 4 1/2 hours in which you have to make dinner, clean up your kitchen, load the dishwasher, help with homework, etc.. is it realistic to think that you can knock another 10 things off your list that night?  On weekdays, I limit myself to just 5 items.  That's it.  Maybe I have them all done by 7:00 and the rest of the night is mine to enjoy some tv, or maybe read some of book (can you imagine?) - other nights I struggle to get those 5 extra things done before I fall into bed.  My advice.  Save the big tasks for the weekend, and if you can only get 2 things done on a week night, do not beat yourself up.  There is always tomorrow.

2.  Delegate.

News Flash.  You do not need to do everything yourself!

We have established a pretty even distribution of work at our house.  It took the better part of 10 years but I feel like we have a happy medium.  All my husband asks of me is to make him a list of things I need him to do.  Mostly it's things that I can not reach, or do not want to do.  I'm just being honest.  It works for us.  Remember, children are also able to load the dishwasher, fold clothes (and put them away!)

3.  Multi-Task.

Fold clothes while you watch tv.  Make the meatballs for tomorrow night while you wait for the chicken to come out of the oven.  Alittle warning....don't try to do something too involved or you will not enjoy your show!

4.  Be Specific. 

If I am not specific about my list I will not remember what I need to do.  I cannot just write fireplace.  It needs to be specific about saying 'clean fireplace' or 'call fireplace guys for cleaning' - this will cause less confusion and will save you time in the long run.

5. Prioritize
Is the bake sale on Tuesday?  Baking the cupcakes needs to be #1 on the list for Monday night. Don't waste time on something that doesn't need to be done until Wednesday when there are things that need to be done on Monday.  If you have a Monday list, a Tuesday list, etc... that is great, just make sure you leave alittle room in each day for any emergencies that arise.  

Good Luck, and I hope this helps!  If you have any tips or tricks that help you tame your to-do list, let me and other readers know below!


1 comment:

  1. Be list of advice I've seen yet. To-Do lists can be so overwhelming you ignore them completely, but these suggestions really help get everything done. I'm guilty of needing to enforce #2 a little more. I hate thinking that I'm being "bossy"!


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