Sticky Notes. Scrap paper. Journals. Calendars. Bullet Points.
The list goes on and on. Quite literally. But are we actually checking off the lists?
I am what I like to call a ‘listacholic’. It’s a blessing and a curse. I am constantly writing down things I want to do, need to do, and need to remember because quite frankly my brain is so scattered I forget and then am flustered. I don’t want to forget, so I write it down. It soothes me to organize my thoughts on what I want to accomplish. I can see my goals, in writing, telling me what it is I have to get done.
On the other hand, it’s not so great sometimes because I’m also not the most motivated person. I’ll admit, I’m a bit lazy. I guess I’d call it more talk than walk. I don’t always check off those bullet points because… “meh, I can do it later”. Let’s be honest, that doesn’t always work. So then I stress myself out with the massive amount of tasks I’ve given myself to do and get overwhelmed. How do I handle that? Write down more ways to check off those tasks. Ugh.
Like many children, chores were given when I was younger. There were four of us girls to help around the house, so chores were divvied up by lists. Something about being given my exact role and expectation, and then the fulfilment of putting a checkmark next to the task when it was done was SO pleasing.
It evolved to something I used in school, in my personal life and even at work. It works very well professionally for me. But the personal things is a little harder to accomplish. I give myself too many bullet points to accomplish at one time.
I’ve been so overwhelmed with new ideas, and the URGE to really get to work on organizing my house and myself. Again, I said I have the urge, not so much the motivation. But that’s why we’re here. To talk about some ideas on how to utilize those lists so we can actually get down to completing them.
I really want to work on my personal goal of getting to and maintaining my favorite phrase: “Keep up, don’t catch up.” I don’t plan on this to be an absolute resolution where I get there and that’s it. Everything in life needs a little maintaining. And changing. Those lists and goals will change as time goes on, but that’s why I want to create a system for myself that can mold and work with me.
Some ideas to get started
I have found a couple things that I’m slowly starting to keep up on. And I wanted to share a few of them with you, in case you’re like me and need some reminders to help you slow down and check off some bullets.
Eco Dot (Google Home or similar)
I have an Echo Dot at home that I use to remind me to do a few daily need-tos; such as give my dog her vitamins.
I have Alexa automatically give me a couple reminders at certain times of the day for things I don’t want to forget to do. Again, I’ll admit I’m still working on it, as sometimes I just listen and then do nothing. BUT 90% of the time, I get up and go do what Alexa told me to do. This is a huge step for some people – myself included.
Phone & Calendar Reminders
If there is an appointment, birthday, holiday, or even those chores that you want accomplished; put it in your phone to remind you at a certain day and time. The more repetitive this is, the more it will become routine for you, that eventually, we won’t need the reminder.
Pick Two Things A Day
This could go for anything. Something big and something small. Pick two things you want to do each day (for literal daily tasks, see the next option of Daily Tasks below).
This step is giving yourself only two things that you have to do each day to feel like you’ve moved in the right direction. Being able to start your day already knowing what you will need to accomplish will take the guesswork out of getting started.
It can be the same two things every day or it can be two things that are different each day as long as they’re something you would think is a big and small task.
Big: washing the dishes
Small: meditating for 3 minutes
It could be these two things every day for a month. Or it could be these two things every Sunday. OR you can just know that you want to get two tasks completed before sitting down at the end of the day.
Pick 2 things that you think you want to do every day. Try it, change it, keep it up!
This is one is what I’ve really been working on for myself to stay more focused with my specific goal of cleaning and organizing.
I’ve been using the Notes app on my iPhone for a while but am taking advantage of it more and more lately. This folder was created a while ago and I found that I haven’t really changed it a whole lot.
I’ve been using this to help organize my thoughts for what I need to do each day for this specific (cleaning) goal.
It’s categorized by day of the week. On each day, I have a list of dailies that I would like to accomplish and then also noted a monthly task that would fall on that day.
Try to do everything on the list for that day. If at the end of the day something is not completed, don’t worry about it until that day comes around again (unless it’s absolutely necessary). Move on to the tasks listed for the next day so that you don’t get distracted.
On the same path, I’ve started creating the same sort of technique for appointments, maintenance (like oil changes) and bills, general projects, as well as personal and mental health tasks I’d like to try.
Do you have any tips that work great for you? Please feel free to share in the comments what works for you or what you’re trying to do to reach these goals of checking off your lists.
A – Plan: write down the two tasks you will accomplish tomorrow or the next day. Know exactly what your day will look like to help prevent wasting time on figuring it out.
B – Regulate. Eliminate the excuse of not knowing where to start on your to-do’s. Create a specific checklist and plan of action with individual steps to accomplish.
C – Start checking off your list! Focus on your plan and stick to it. Now enjoy filling that box in with a checkmark.
I hope this was helpful in some shape or form for you. Good luck on your list making and checking off those to-dos!
Stay safe, be nice, and welcome 2021!