My SUPER “To-Do” List

 

A Super To-Do list

Organizing My To Do List | Organize 365

I have been stuck in technology purgatory for the past month. My email, laptop and Facebook accounts have all conspired against me! My normally productive days have been filled with labored work and worry.

When I had a day to devote to “working,” I was so lost I didn’t know where to begin.

I have the additional challenge of being a master multitask-er. If one job is good, aren’t 10 better?

My To-Do List 

When I get overwhelmed, I make lists. When I get SUPER overwhelmed, I make color coded charts.

I start by color coding my professions. PINK for my Warrior MAMA blog {update- this blog crashed and is gone}, YELLOW for this blog and my professional organization business. ORANGE for my brick and mortar business and on and on.

Then I write down every “to-do” I can think of from buying milk to suing the State of Ohio. Each “to-do” gets its own piece of paper.

Next, I take a short break and go get a large fountain coke! That’s better. Now I look at each piece of paper and pull off the items that I “should” get done today. {Remember, I have a whole 10 hour day to work with on this particular day.}

Now that I have prioritized what I need to get done in each “category” of my life, I need to prioritize that pile in order. For example, picking up my son’s prescription is on the list, but it is at the bottom. At the top of the list are the 2 guest posts I needed to write that day!

About a decade ago, I started writing on my to-do list how long I thought each task would take me. It was a way to keep me on task,but more importantly it helped me start to realize if my to-do list was in any way – doABLE.

So to “check my expectations,” I grabbed a few more cards and made a rough time outline of the day. I quickly saw that quite a few tasks were not going to get done.

That’s OK. I left them on the list, but in my mind, certain tasks now were in a BONUS category instead of a TASK category. This approach to my tasks has greatly reduced my stress level!

All in all, I accomplished a TON!

Being organized doesn’t mean you do not get overwhelmed, or bite off more than you can chew. However, organized people have a way of breaking monumental tasks into bite sized pieces. How about you? What do you do when you get completely overwhelmed?

Comments

  1. says

    What a cool way to approach getting on top of tasks again! When I’m feeling overwhelmed, usually because I’ve been sick or busy with my kids’ school stuff, I sit down and do a weekly review a la Getting Things Done. Part of the review is a brain dump to get my brain cells free of little bits of stuff. Knowing what’s going on and what needs to happen next really helps me feel better.

    I love the idea of putting a time on a task. So many task take only 5 or 10 minutes. I think if I had something bigger, I would schedule it as a block of time on my calendar.

    • lisa says

      Barb – I love the idea of scheduling blocks of time! I forgot about that one!

      I guess I block tasks by function. Like all my phone calls together and errands together.
      :)
      Lisa

  2. says

    I’m so glad to see other people still use paper for to-do lists! And I love your point about how even organized people get overwhelmed and have a lot on their plate. I’m focusing my blog on organizing but also how it can be challenging and stressful and that sometimes you just need a break! I love the time scheduling idea. Sometimes I make to-do lists like there are 100 hours in every day and then I’m surprised when the day is over already! Thank you!

    • lisa says

      Erin-

      Thanks for stopping by! Being overwhelmed is almost a given in our American culture! I am always looking for new tips and tricks too!
      :)
      Lisa

  3. says

    I used post it notes for organizing too! Somehow those little piece of paper are easier to deal with than a huge “to do” list. I’ve always thrown them away as soon as I finished a chore but I now think I need to keep them til the end of the day to “see” what I’ve accomplished.Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Ok… love your system as I am an organizer and list-maker, myself! Love making lists! So much so that procrastination takes over and I dwell on listing every little detail of my day and those days to come!! LOL Hmmmm.. I think I have problem!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. says

    Hello,
    I saw you on the link party from chic on a shoestring decorating and though I would pop over to say hi and introduce myself.
    I am a new blogger from make-it-yourself mumma and I am just getting to know the ins and outs of the blogging world.

    I really love this idea, it is so proactive.
    When I get overwhelmed I tend to cut down or cut out certain things to try to save time and get more done. Unfortunately I tend to cut out the “me” time which is not good as I don’t get enough time or opportunity to refresh and revitalize. I am working on this,
    I have a similar system to this for my chores, I can stick to it, the kids and the partner on the other hand is another story!!
    Thanks for writing and sharing such a great post, gets me thinking :)

  6. says

    This is a great idea. I am a visual learner too. I have lists and lists, but sometimes they overwhelm me too. I’m going to try this! Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!

    Hugs,
    Deborah

  7. says

    Wow, this is fabulous. I could definitely use priority list! I am good at lists…but organizing what needs to be done is something I struggle with!

  8. says

    Lisa, this is exactly what we need right now. thank you for linking it up with us.; btw the computer issues are now over and this week’s linky party is now … finally… LIVE !!

  9. says

    Wow, I need to do that! I get so overwhelmed- a lot! That would be so helpful! I homeschool my preschooler, am a pastor’s wife with multiple responsibilities at church, I blog, and have a home business- and, I’m probably not thinking of some other areas. Color coding each area would help so much, plus it’s so pretty! :-)
    ~Linda

  10. says

    I use the MOTH method and it wasn’t until I listed on post-its with time allotment for each task that I understood that I was trying to do 34 hours of work in a 24 hours day INCLUDING sleep!.. You can only multi task so much and then nothing is getting done.

    Love your tips and thought process to get a workable plan for today.

  11. maddashin says

    I found a planner called the Planner Pad. It is terrific. I suggest everyone take a look at it.
    I ordered it and it is working out better than any planner I have ever used. And you can actually still use post it notes! I am addicted to post it notes.

    However, this planner has a funnel system and it really helps.

    I do not work for the company. I tried to use my phone but at times it is just quicker to look at paper and calendars laid out in front of you.

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