Ahhhh, the to-do list. Do you have one? Me, I’ve always been a list maker. There’s just something that feels – so – good about writing things down, checking them off and having a sense of accomplishment.
I know there are several kinds of things you and I can use to keep our to-do lists on -- from electronic apps to good ole fashioned pad and paper. While I love to use technology for lots of things in life and business, my favorite to-do lists are still written down. I like to have a place to empty my mind of all the tasks, errands and ideas and to see them in front of me. No matter what you use I highly recommend using some kind of to-do list format. I love how Janet Choi describes it, “The to-do list is an external memory aid, or a reminder outside of your head, which nudges you about all the stuff you mean to do.” What kind of to-do lists do I make? Well, I’m glad you asked! I don’t know about you, but I have lots of stuff I need to get done! In order to keep this world of mine revolving as seamlessly as possible, and sometimes that gets challenging when life throws me a curve ball, here are my top 3 tools to help you conquer your to-do list: 1.) JOURNAL Almost all of my to-do items are written in a hot pink journal (the color makes it easy to locate). This is my main go-to tool for the things I want to keep in one place over time. I put headings at the top of each page, date the list, put little boxes next to each item, and away I go. When I finish an item a check mark goes in the box. Once a page of to-do’s are finished, I mark a line through the page. This serves as a visual reminder that all tasks on that page are complete while also allowing me to look back on the information if needed. Sometimes my lists are about the work I need to get done. Other times I write down ideas for vacations, people I want to spend time with, business ideas or my grocery list. 2.) 3X5 CARDS My to-do lists can also consist of small 3x5 cards. I keep them in my vanity drawer – for when I need a quick list. Oftentimes when I’m getting ready several things will go through my mind. Can you relate? Things like…
go by the bank
pick up contacts
have lunch with Mom
Then, as I’m getting ready to head out the door my 3x5 card goes in my wallet. This is a great temporary to-do list solution. Once I’m done I can easily toss it in the trash!
3.) POST-IT NOTES
There are lots of theories about using post-it notes for to-do lists. Good or bad, they work for me! If I’m working away and have random thoughts pop up in my head, I will often grab a post-it and keep a running list.
Then, I can either take care of the items and throw the post-it away, or transfer them to a more permanent place – like my journal – if needed.
Regardless of what method you use … USE SOMETHING for your to-do list! In order to be productive you need to have a reliable place to relieve the stress and constant chatter going on in your mind.
Keeping a to-do list and knowing where to focus can help you have a successful day. Seriously, who doesn’t want to have a successful day?