These little books are here!
Last week, I had a lot of little stuff to do. Not ordinary everyday stuff, but little stuff that I had been putting off...or rather deciding to do until the next day...and so on.
I am not a list maker for "to-do" type things. I make a grocery list ....most times. I make a Christmas list...always. I make a packing list...sometimes. But "to-do" lists..almost never.
Last week, however, I made a list, in a pretty little notebook. I checked things off as I got them done. And guess what...all but 1 got done! I thought. Wow! How did that happen? Why did that little list work so well for me? I decided to look into and you would not believe how many articles there are out there on writing lists, making them work, and why they work in the first place. Google it ...and you will see.
Now that I am such an expert.....hahahaha
I thought I would give you my 2 cents on what worked for me.
My little how to write a to do list for the little stuff you have to do!
1. Keep it short and simple.
Do not overwhelm yourself with a long list of things that you need to eventually get done. Keep it short by including only those items that you are committed to getting done at the present time. Do not include items that know you will get done without a reminder...such as "get dressed", "make coffee" or "check email."
Do not confuse a simple task with a giant project. For example, "cleaning out the closet" is a project, not a task.
2. Keep it specific!
With specific tasks like "donate old shoes to Goodwill" and "replace wire hangers", the closet will become clean very soon one specific task at a time.
Tell yourself what to do in detail, just like you would if you were instructing a personal assistant. "Find a new dentist" is not as specific as "Email Donna to ask her who her dentist is."
3. Keep it successful!
Keep a DONE list. Do not just check off the things that are done, but make a separate list of the tasks that you completed. It shows you that you really got stuff done and gives you a sense of accomplishment...showing real results. It is much more effective than seeing the things that remain undone on the to-do list.
4. Keep it somewhere pretty...and somewhere that you will always have it.
A little flowered mini note pad or a hard bound journal are much nicer to work with than the back of an envelope or Starbucks napkin. (You know you are...Mr Starbucks napkin list keeper.)
I know that lots of you are avid list keepers. You amaze me what what you get done and how super prepared you are for vacations, spring cleanings, and dinners and such. This post is not for you...except to know that I am slowly coming over to your side. I have not made a to-do list for this week, but mostly because I don't have time to do it. I must be realistic. That should be number 5 above....but it doesn't start with an "S" ...and I didn't think of it until just now!
Anyway.... I'd love to know who of you keep lists...and for what...on paper or on some technical app etc... and have you always been a list keeper. Should I expect this to be a phase or will it become a great habit that will have me accomplishing great and wonderful things?
Now I am off to the grocery store..with a list!
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