Getting and staying organized can be a challenge. One way to do it is to create a To-Do list for you to work from. I use Outlook to create a To-Do list. I add chores as they occur to me, I have some that I have in there with a recurring due date – that’s the beauty of using Outlook – the tasks can be set to recur. Outlook also allows you to color code your tasks to add another layer of organization to it. You don’t need to get that elaborate though, a pencil and paper can do the job just as well.
A To-Do list is a list of chores that you know that you have to do, but you need to make time to do them. They can help you determine what you need to do and when you need to do them. I try to go over my list every few days and try to assign a due date to the items. For example, this blog is an item on my To-Do list. I put in the item, which becomes immediate in Outlook, and then I assigned a due-date of the end of the week to it. I set it to recur so the task generates for next week after I write this blog and check it off the list. I don’t put in the blog topic for that reason. I have the list of blog topics for that. Yes, I plan my blogs in advance of writing them. It helps to be organized.
That said, the To-Do list also includes things like vacuuming, washing the cat fountain and other household chores that I don’t like to think about doing. Having them in the list as well, forces me to think about them, making it more likely that I will do them. I admit that if I have a good book going, I would rather read than vacuum carpets. I just have to remind myself that the vacuuming needs to be done. The To-Do list is a great way to do that.
The To-Do list also allows you to think about the time you have available. Do I have the time to vacuum the carpet before I go to work, yes? Do it and mark it off the list. Ok, it goes right back on the list for next time, but you get the point. You can clear one-off tasks in the same way, except that they don’t regenerate. Outlook has that wonderful feature, but the pencil and paper list works as well. All you need is the list, it doesn’t matter what form it takes. Having the list lets you know when you have done a task. Knowing what you still have to do helps you to do it. It’s also a great feeling to mark something done on your To-Do list, especially those one-off items that loom every so often. I don’t think my To-Do list will ever show everything crossed off, it’s not intended for that, but it can show me what I need to do next and that is just as important. The To-Do list doesn’t rule my life, it only helps me to live it.
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