Reality Check: I’m Obsessed With Lists
It’d be one thing if my daily lists looked like this:
- Make Lexie purr
- Hug J-slice
- Kiss John
- Call my Mom
I’d be all about that. They’re manageable tasks, it’s setting myself up for success, and I’d feel accomplished. Alas, that is not reality.
I make lists for everything: work to-dos, grocery items needed, things I need to do at home, goal breakdowns, blog post ideas, and things I need to remember. When I die, I’ll probably croak with a pen in my hand, a list scribbled in front of me, several in my phone (or whatever technology we’re up to at the time), and one in my pocket. And later you’ll find that I left my loved ones several lists for how to handle my affairs. haha. Probably not far from the truth!
My to-do lists are my biggest problem. They’re so ineffective!
At work, I’m five weeks into testing the “three goals” concept of setting three goals for a day and that’s it. Honestly… some days it works and some days it doesn’t. I haven’t figured out why except to say that my brain is wired differently than that type of list-making requires. So, I really don’t have an effective solution there.
I definitely don’t have an effective solution at home either. I start building my weekend to-do list on Thursday. (It’s a disease, I swear). My lists often end up containing 15-20 to-dos which is completely overwhelming. I try to add easy things like “go to work” (I work Saturday mornings) or “plan meals” (which I do every Sunday without fail). Crossing those off makes me feel great but it also makes me look for the easy tasks on the list and inevitably I end up avoiding the difficult, time-consuming tasks. I’m a procrastinator!
Here’s my reality check: my current to-do list methods are not working. Write down (read: make a list – hahaha) of what’s working and what’s not; ruthlessly scrap what isn’t working and try something new.
What works for me:
- planning ahead
- being able to see what’s coming up so that I can be ready for it
- starting my to-do list items with a verb
- prioritizing my list
- figuring out when I can realistically do something before putting it on the list
- working backwards
- building in something fun or giving myself a reward
What doesn’t work for me:
- brain-dump lists (they’ll never get done)
- only doing the easy things
- putting more items on the list than time allows for
So I’m on the hunt for to-do list tactics to attempt (ooooh alliteration!) What works for you? What doesn’t work for you? I’m hoping we can learn from each other here!
I do already have one method I’d like to try out and will hopefully report back to you. If you have tips and tricks, I’d love to hear from you!
PS – Today is Hootie’s birthday! Four years ago, I was in Germany celebrating with her. I hope she gets a teleportation device for her birthday so we can make that happen again and again. Happy Birthday, Hootie! :)