Friday, January 8, 2010


Do you make a TO DO list every day or whenever there are several things that need done? I love TO DO lists. They can make you so efficient, so organized and time efficient but you do have to know how to use them and how to do it well.
First let’s write down what you need to do. It might look like this:

- organize my office,

- buy groceries,

- schedule a doctor’s appointment,

- clean the kitchen and

- write a blog for next week.
These do NOT make a good to do list. For one thing it would take a week or more to do all I’ve written down and I only have today to get it done. Second I’m not actually going to do that…like who organizes their office. What do I really NEED to do and what can I get done TODAY?

Here’s how I would modify the list for those parameters.
Organize the office – for starters this is one of those things I’d like have completed someday but I’d never be able to do it all in one day (it took 10 years to get like this it’s not likely to get fixed in one week much less one day), and it is an ongoing thing you can never do it once and have it done forever. So, my solution is to find one thing I want to work on today and then work on it. Today my task on my to do list will be to create a file folder for major topics I need to file. That I can do…what are your file topics?
Buy groceries – I need a menu first, then I need to check the cupboards and ideally I would want to clean out the refrigerator before actually shopping. Truthfully all of this needs done so it all goes on the list as individual items.
Schedule a doctor’s appointment – if it’s one of those things you tend to put off, give yourself a reward for doing it NOW or as soon as the office opens.
Clean the kitchen – so the real thing here is what do you really mean? Is it to wash the dishes or do you really mean organize the Tupperware? Whatever it is list what that is. Mine would to go through the junk drawer today (yippee I actually did it) and tomorrow match lids to containers in the Tupperware cabinet. So don’t just say “clean the kitchen”.
Write a blog for next week – that might be ok as is. But it would be much more effective and more likely to get done if I wrote something like write a blog about TO DO LISTS. Then I don’t have to vacillate around for a couple of hours starting this post or that and not really getting anything written.
So here’s my new list:

     Create file folders for major topics – insurance, bills, blogs, scrapbooking, crafts, etc

     Create menu for week – meatloaf, baked chicken, tomato soup & grilled cheese, grilled tilapia, stew

     Check ingredients in freezer, pantry and fridge

     Throw out old food in fridge

     Call doctor’s office at 8:30 AM

     Match lids to containers

     Write a blog about procrastination

If I get it all done and I will because I’ve made it realistic, achievable and specific then be sure to reward yourself. What would be real reward to you? What would motivate you and DO NOT let yourself have whatever it is if you don’t get it done. What would be a reward for you? Is it Internet time, an hour reading a book, veg time with a cup of hot tea, bath time with no interruptions (like that’s gonna happen!), but whatever it is find it, list it and then reward yourself ONLY when you’ve done everything on the list.

I almost NEVER sit in front of the TV without either a notebook (which I take EVERYWHERE I go) or my laptop (or most likely both). As I am watching a movie on DVD (we never watch TV per se – too many commercials) I am writing down ideas, or making my TO DO list for tomorrow, or creating scrapbook pages on the laptop. If I’m not doing that I am folding clothes, crocheting or working on a craft of some sort. I make it an absolute rule that I do not sit in front of the TV without doing something else. I just cannot stand the waste.
Now that is not to say that you shouldn’t just relax. I do, but mostly when I am reading a book or getting ready to go to sleep or sitting in a hot bath. Maybe you spend your relaxing time in front of the TV…up to you, of course. You do need to relaxation time. It might even be the whole day, that’s what God did with the Sabbath. Be certain you’re spending time with each family member every week.

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