March 20, 2014

Weekly To-Do List Tips

To-do lists help people to focus on tasks that need to be completed.  Some people live by the list and need a daily list to get everything accomplished in their busy lives.  Others dislike lists.  For me, a daily, detailed list doesn't work.  However, I do like to keep a weekly to-do list.
My weekly to-do list is simple.  Using a steno notebook, I write all the items that are not day-to-day activities that need to be completed.  Phone calls, emails, cleaning projects, appointments are added to my list.

On the left side of my steno pad I keep my general list.  In the upper right I like to write what we're having for dinner each night, though it is also written on my calendar.  On the lower right side, I list the days of the week with special, non-negotiable events of each day.

Weekly To-Do List Tips
  • Break down larger projects into tasks that take no more than 60 minutes.  Thirty minutes is even better for me.
  • Highlight or star the items that are priority.
  • Assign a day of the week for priority tasks.
  • Include phone numbers on the list unless it is on speed dial or memorized.
  • Keep your list open and in a highly visible location.
  • Cross off items as they are completed.
  • Add more items to your list, but don't add so many that your list cannot be accomplished in one week.
  • If something pops up that gets completed before it is added to the list, sometimes I add it to the list and cross it off just as a reminder that I did it. 
  • Dedicate a notebook to just your lists.  Previously, I used a spiral notebook, but I find the steno notebook stands out as my list book.
Do lists help you or do you ignore them?  What is your favorite style?  What other tips do you have for us?  I'm grateful I finally made lists work for me!

~ Annette W. {This Simple Mom}
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2 comments:

  1. I like this. It feels like balanced middle ground. My husband operates with detailed lists; I lean towards hating them. However, I am beginning to see the value as it helps you to prioritize at least a little. I like the idea of a weekly list. That seems attainable.

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  2. Hi Annette. I work better when I have the whole month spread out in a sheet, like a monthly calendar page with medium-sized blocks per day. Then I get to plot out tasks by its duration. Sometimes I also run a highlighter (different color per project) to see how much time I still have. Crazy but I think whatever works for you, you have to stick to it so the method gets ingrained.

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