I think I am like a lot of people and there are days when you feel like your to-do list is totally out of control, and you don’t know how to get it back in order. For some people it is easy to manage if they have one focused job, but for a lot of us now, we are juggling multiple jobs, so it means that it can be a challenge to get things achieved or at least in some sort of manageable fashion. When I start to feel that I have too many things that I have put onto a list, I decide to sit back and that becomes my focus before I try and tackle anything else.
Here is what I do.
- Grab small pieces of paper or post-it notes for writing out the various to-do items
- Write one to-do item on each of the papers, and don’t worry if you repeat yourself.
- Once this is done, sort the items into the various categories that you want. E.g. Work, personal, crafts, etc.
- Now that things are in the various categories you have a choice of how to handle them, but here is the easiest method I have found and that is to write all of one category onto a piece of paper either in a notebook or loose-leaf.
- After getting each category onto its own piece of paper, it makes it a lot easier to see what you must do for each category. Now, when you are working on a category, you don’t have everything else on that list.
- Keep some small post-it notes always available because when you are working on things and something else comes to mind you can write them done quickly.
- Mark off the items as you get them done, and you will start to feel a little more under control. You can add to the list at any time and then rewrite when you want to.
I have found that doing the quick brain dump of all the things that I need to do makes it so much easier to get things done. It gets the items out of my head and down onto paper so that I can see them, and marking items off the list also makes me feel better as I can see proof that I am getting things done.
Of course, this method might not work for everyone, but I have found that it works for me, and it helps keep me organized and productive. Sometimes I have lots of pages of various categories, but other times my lists are small enough that a category can be more general. The categories that you use for your lists are going to differ each time, but at least it is a way of controlling the various projects.