Making your to-do list work for you

I have always been drawn to the concept of time management. I have worked for corporate America in the past,and took many time management courses,as well as studying time management on my own.

I think it is kinda funny that we actually think we can manage time,when time is going to keep marching itself along tick,tock,tick,tock, no matter what we do or don’t do!

managing time

Time management systems

One of the most popular systems recommend that you use a priority system on your to-do list,giving items an A,B,or C designation,based upon how important they are. This never seemed to work for me,personally. I would make this LONG list of things I needed to have done sometime in the future. And then I would try to prioritize them. Some things I would know were an A,but I didn’t know whether some should go as B or C priority,and I would get so frustrated I would just give up!

The other thing that this system didn’t necessarily take into account are the different areas we have in our lives as busy wives,mothers, employees or business owners. We have multiple areas of priorities.

What I find helps are to look at your areas of responsibility,your priorities. Your house,your kids,your business,your self! Then,before you go to bed the night before,ask yourself:

What is the most important thing I need to do tomorrow in each of these areas?

Then write it in your notebook,planner,put it on your phone,or I even like to use a post-it note. It might look something like this:

  • Get floors swept and vacuumed
  • Take kids to library
  • Write blog post and publish
  • Do yoga workout

Of course,this doesn’t mean these are the ONLY things you will do tomorrow,you will probably cook a few meals,change some diapers,wash dishes,give kids a bath,but those are routine things that you “shouldn’t” need on a to-do list (although you may want to write up a routine list to help you stay on track.)


momAgenda - get organized with style

The main thing is to make sure that you are getting the important things done. Not just the URGENT,but also the important. These are things that are helping you move towards your goals and also help you build relationships with those you love. They are also the preventative things that keep something from becoming a mess and then an emergency!

Whatever format you choose to use,it needs to be something that can be in your face for the day. If you never look at it again,you may very well forget,in the craziness of the day,WHAT you were supposed to be focusing on.

That is why I like the post it note. I can stick it on my laptop screen or my planner page so that I see it while I am doing other things. It keeps it in the front of my mind.

What tips,tricks or techniques have you used to manage your important to-do items?

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4 comments to Making your to-do list work for you

  • I keep a small purse in my bag. On the edge of the purse is a bulldog clip where I keep my notes,to do lists and important receipts (parcel pickup) etc Stops me leaving my list at home and I always have it with me then,at school,at the shop,wherever :)
    Kristy recently posted..Fruit trees –what’s in and what next?My Profile

  • I think my favorite method is a combination of Outlook task lists and a piece of paper. I try to write things down the moment I think of something that needs to be done. Then as soon as I can,I put it into Outlook,where I have a separate list for several major areas of my life. (For example,I have business,church,personal,Vacation Bible School,and ideas for later.) Each morning,much like you suggested as well,I choose one to three specific (non-routine) tasks to accomplish and write them on a note paper right beside my computer to help keep myself on track.

    This system works very well for me (as long as Outlook doesn’t crash,that is!).

    I like the idea of deciding the night before what you will do the next day. That is something that I should probably make more of a habit. Thanks for the tips!
    Sheila Edeliant recently posted..Tin Pan Peak Fire Blazes Right Past ChurchMy Profile

  • Kelli Wommack

    I have just discovered this wonderful app for IPad and you can put it on your desktop if you have a Mac. it is called Wunderlist. it is free and has really helped me in the last few weeks. it enables you to create many lists at the same time. Highly recommend!

  • Just reading these real-life tips &knowing that I’m not the only one trying to figure it out gives me hope. I like the “night before”list and especially the idea of prioritizing one thing for the various parts of my life. Grateful for the extra encouragement,especially for the upcoming holidays! Thanks,Bernice!

    Elizabeth
    for Hope on Hope

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