Actually Doing the To-Do List

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Since having a baby four months ago I have found myself in a bit of a mind fog. I seem to constantly be bombarded by thoughts of tasks to complete and ideas to explore. I have this really awesome hereditary trait of a terrible memory so if I don’t write it down it is gone and floats through my memory at random clogging my poor brain with a flood of passing thoughts. Due to this jumble I have always been a big time list lover! I have a gazillion list pads (one for each holiday and season) to feed my compulsion.

Recently, I tried something new with my To-do list that has done wonders for my time management and productivity! Instead of just having a list of tasks and looking through them to choose something when I find a moment, I have started a prioritization model (big words for I number them).

Each night I go through my tasks and make a dash next to the ones I want to complete the next day. Once I see the days tasks I number them one through ten in order of priority. Sometimes it also depends on timing, like I can’t go to some stores first thing in the morning, etc. When I wake up there is no confusion as to what I start with. I start with task one and cannot move on until it is complete. Then, I move on to task two, etc. until my list is complete! Each night I take the tasks that were not completed and they automatically go on the top of tomorrow’s list.

This has been so helpful to eliminate wasted time of standing in front of the list and deciding what to do. It is such a simple system, yet has been really effective for me! I am loving it! I usually get all ten tasks done.

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My husband has been using a system at work called Kanban. We got a book called Personal Kanban that we are reading together. It is a work prioritization system kind of like what I have started, but more visual. You can see the progress of all your tasks and the main concept is limiting your work in progress. I can’t wait to start another new system once we finish the book!!

What kind of “to do” system do you use?

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  1. says

    I am great at making lists, but not so great at tackling them in the best order. Prioritizing the list makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing your system!

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