Day two of breaking the writer’s block and I actually went to bed excited about getting up this morning and writing. However, the three degree temperature in the Barossa dulled my enthusiasm for a super early start. It’s hard to believe that this time last week we were facing a very real threat from the bushfires to our north. Hopefully this cooler weather is helping with the mopping up that I expect is still happening.
Today I wanted to write about lists. There’s so much talk of lists at the moment – Santa’s writing his, the kids are writing theirs, Mum is asking for my wish list, there’s the list of kids coming to the birthday party and meanwhile I have no less than four to do lists.
I really thought I’d have more time when I didn’t have a full time job outside the home. Instead, starting a business, running a household and trying to do all the fun things I missed when I worked in an office all day means I feel busier than ever.
I’ve always been a list maker – partly because I like the satisfaction of crossing things of and partly because there is no way I’d remember to do everything without one.
I have to do lists and notes on my phone, the Asana to do app, notebooks in Evernote, a shopping list on the blackboard, a to do list on my office whiteboard and of course paper lists – which range from Top Three priorities for today, a master “work” to do list and the “everything I need to do before we go away” list. And then there are the scraps of paper where I scribble something so I don’t forget – and then lose the paper! In bed, I tend to write myself notes on my phone or in my calendar but I have been known – especially during stressful times like moving house/countries to keep a notepad beside the bed.
My list making and my love of/obsession with stationery go hand in hand. Kikki K and Officeworks are like Disneyland to me – which probably also explains why I’ve never completely stuck with the electronic/app version. A new to-do list pad usually sparks some renewed enthusiasm for list-making too.
If this all sounds a bit scattered and chaotic, you would be partly right. However, having a couple of lists has helped. By having a “master” list of my work to-dos, I’m not spending every day making a whole new list. I have them on a Kikki K pad which allows me to assign a priority and estimated time and so each day, I can scan through it and make a much more manageable list – which is where the three priorities list comes in. I’ve been dividing this up as work, house and personal/fun which means I can also add things from the master home list. This approach seems to be working better and I find a notepad on my desk is better than remembering o open yet another tab on my computer. I was also inspired by Beth from Baby Mac’s “ONE THING list” where she aims to do one thing from that list of stuff we all have to do around our house – things like hanging pictures or fixing something (in this case her ONE THING is sorting out the kitchen – something I should add to my list).
There are so many approaches to list-making and I often feel like my multiple long lists make me a bit of a failure. It’s definitely true that looking a one long list can be a bit overwhelming and unproductive, but I think picking a couple of priority items for each day – whether they be the most urgent, the ones that will make you the most money (in business) or bring you the most joy definitely makes this work better.
Are you a list maker?
What’s on your Christmas list?
Is there a better to-do list or app I should be adding to my list?
I’ve used a variety of note-taking methods in the past, and have never managed to settle on a single tool.
Previous trials/methods included:
– Single week-long list in a work diary, with non-completed things transferred manually to a new list every week.
– Draft emails with a separate email for each task (not sure why I ever thought that would work…)
– Evernote, but I just couldn’t get into the groove for this.
– OneNote, used primarily for formal study. Coupled with the handwriting recognition on something like the Surface Pro 3, I almost couldn’t fault it, but I just missed the kinaesthetic memory when dealing with hardcopy notes.
– Currently using Wunderlist, and seems to be working great. I have separate folders for my day job, for GameHub, and for miscellaneous household stuff. Syncs across all devices/platforms instantly, and Teresa and I can share/assign tasks between us. It’s not especially flash, but it does everything I need at the moment, and is dead simple to use.