As a business owner, designer, mother of 5, wife, and student; lists are an important part of my day…Let me rephrase that. Lists are the only thing that makes sense of my day and they are critical to my sanity!
Sometimes I will sit down the night before and make out my list of To Do’s for the next day and sometimes I will sit down first thing in the morning while drinking some tea and make my list for the day. I have lists of all types. For example, I have my To Do list, my short term goals, long term goals, bills, books to read, movies to watch, places to see, and on and on. I guess you could say I am a list junkie:) Without my list, I aimlessly bounce from one task to another, but at the end of the day I start to remember the important things that I should have done that day, but forgot because I hadn’t written them down.
With that said, lists are extremely important to me, but equally important is keeping my list manageable. There have been many times when I have so much that I want to do and I will write it on my To Do list. Pretty soon, my list is two pages long and totally impossible to get finished in one day. I work on a few things and the list eventually ends up mixed up with some papers in my inbox. I later find it (usually when I’m filing) and can cross off a couple of items, but nowhere near enough to call it complete. This gives me a sense of failure, because I cannot complete the list, it frustrates me and causes me to feel unnecessary stress. So my solution to that problem was the “long term” and “short term” goals list. That is where I write down the things I want to get done, but they are not pressing at the present time. The other solution to the problem is to make much smaller To Do lists. The To Do list is for stuff I need to get done TODAY only and stuff that I know I can actually accomplish in one day. This way I can check them all off, complete them all in one day and not feel overwhelmed. Looking at a much shorter list in the morning gives me confidence that I can actually complete it and it also gives me ambition to get started on it.
That’s another thing…. It’s much easier to accomplish a lot of things in a day if you start with the first thing. If I grab my list and go over it while sipping my tea first thing in the morning, I find myself accomplishing most of my list before the kids even get home from school!
If you want to print a copy of the list shown above for your personal use, feel free to print it from my Flickr photos.