Lists make all the difference

17 Oct

Nothing beats a great list.

I make lists for everything. Mainly I do it because I end up wasting a lot of mental energy if that information is just floating around in my brain and not on paper. Seriously, it’s a lot harder for me to concentrate on things and be productive if I have a lot of stuff in my head that should be on a list. Strange but true. I get a lot of satisfaction from checking off items as they’re completed. It’s a great feeling to see a list completely checked off. Ahhh, well done!

I have lists for long-term projects, ideas for blog posts, packing list for Showcase, birthdays, financial goals, Christmas presents to give (yes, already), and Christmas presents to make (yes, ALREADY). And some things on those lists, like presents to make, have lists under them detailing the steps to do.

But nothing beats my weekly to-do list. I actually get a little excited preparing this each Sunday for the following week. Here’s my template:

(Yes, I had to take a picture of my computer screen. Couldn't load it correctly otherwise. I know, I know. I'll work on it.)

The top section has my schedule for each day. I still use my Google calendar, but this allows me to see what’s happening on a day so I can determine which day the to-do task should be on. Next section has my recurring to-dos. Monday always has update IPod and put laundry away. Tuesday always has strength training. You get the drift. The next section has to-dos that aren’t recurring but are added as they come up, like go to bank. The bottom section has some miscellaneous lists, like the cleaning I do for my mom, a place to write what I need from the grocery store, and other notes.

I heart my to-do list. It makes me feel organized, it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished a lot (when I check it off), and it frees up my brain for other things. I get motivated to do the things on my to-do list when it’s organized like this.

By the way, number one item on a to-do list? “Make to-do list.” Then you can check it off right away.

Oh, and you think I’m detail-oriented? You obviously haven’t met my dad. I’m a disorganized mess compared to him.

(Side note: I just noticed after writing this that my friend TS talks about lists in her blog today. Weird coincidence. Great minds and all that.)

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