To-Do Lists

I’ll admit it. I’m a compulsive list-maker. In my defense, I get it from my mother, a wonderful, well organized woman. I make to-do lists, grocery lists, project lists, pack lists for trips. You name it, I list it. And now, I’ve evolved. No more steno books or pads of paper for me. I use Microsoft Excel. It’s versatile and easy to erase. 🙂

I was looking at my to-do list this morning and wondered how come, on most days, I manage to get all but one or two things done. Is it that I’m slowing down and don’t accomplish as much these days? Or (and this is the most likely answer) do I put so much on the list that Wonder Woman wouldn’t be able to accomplish? Am I setting myself up for failure?

For instance, here’s my to-do list for Thursday:

  • Kickboxing class
  • Straighten house
  • Clean a couple rooms
  • Promote blog
  • Prep for writer’s group meeting
  • Write blog for Friday
  • Write 1613 words (minimum)
  • Make salad for hubby (since I’ll be gone at my meeting)
  • 6PM – writer’s group meeting

Now, that doesn’t seem like too long of a list to me. I don’t have a 9-5 job; my writing is my work. It’s 1PM Thursday as I write this and I’m done with everything but this blog, my writing, the salad, and tonight’s meeting.  I’m doubtful that I will make my word count for today, unless I plan to finish when I get home at 10PM.

So I’m trying to decide if it’s how I organize my day or if I just take too much on. Maybe what I need to do is start adding estimated times to my list. For instance, kickboxing is an hour long class. But when you add the 20 minute drive each way, and the shower afterward, it’s more like a two hour commitment.

Or maybe I’m just over thinking this and I should throw the to-do list out (perish the thought!). I used to actually put “R&R” on my to-do list to make sure I worked in some down time. I’m not sure where that disappeared to. 🙂

So I thought I’d ask you all how (or if) you accomplish your goals most days. Do you wing it, do what you can, and not worry about the rest? Or do you check items off a list and plow ahead until you get it done? It seems like everyone’s schedule these days is filled to overflowing. So how do you cope?

FYI – I think I’ll make a list of any suggestions posted and tape it above my computer. lol

TGIF, everyone!  I hope you have a to-do list with some R&R built in!

posted by Laurie Ryan

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7 responses to “To-Do Lists

  1. coping may or may not be a choice in my world!! LOL – sometimes I look at my desk and get so overwhlemed with the amount of stuff that needs doing, that I almost panic. Then I tell myself to pick up ONE thing, do that one thing and then do another one. That seems to help. I don’t do a lot of lists except in my head. I should probably put it on paper so it won’t be swirling around but I don’t.
    Hope you got all your tasks done!

  2. I’m a list maker to. I think I’ve had lists to keep the lists straight. And, until recently I’ve had left overs each day, and still do for the week, and month. I keep a Word Doc, though maybe excel would be better especially to easily add estimated time. ummm something to add to my list.

    What helps me is I started with a daily list. Then found there were things I needed to remember to do but they wouldn’t fit on days list so I started making a weekly list, same document though.

    What’s helped me is to take a few minutes in the morning to review my to- day-list and high light what I feel has to be done. So far I haven’t had any high lighted tasks left at the end of the day.

    Okay, another cup of coffee and I’m ready to plan the day and I think I will move the word doc to an excel one. But it’s not on my list for today. 🙂

  3. I do a weekly writing to-do list, and a daily one for the day job (which someday pretty soon will be writing – hooray!)

    Some weeks (and most days) I don’t tick off everything, but I know for sure I’d do much less without the lists than with them.

  4. Like minds and all that Tricia. But what works . . . works. I always marvel at what Jack gets done and he NEVER writes ANYTHING down.

  5. Jillian, doing tasks one by one like that works for me to. Or at least when I remember to do it. 🙂

  6. Wow – that’s a really tough one. I am also a huge list maker – must run in my family and honestly I think I would go crazy without my lists. I always focus the things I absolutely accomplish first and the others get re-scheduled or re-assigned later in the week. I struggle with trying to get everything done on my list and have had to realize that there are many days it just doesn’t get all done.

  7. Hi, all. Sorry I’ve been absent from commenting, but had a little family thing to deal with. My mother was in the hospital with a little atrial fibrillation. She’s home now (and doing well) so I’m catching up. Michal (daughter), of course it runs in the family. 🙂 So does the compulsion to finish everything ON that list. lol And I see some good ideas here, like focusing on one thing at a time, and doing more of a weekly list. I actually do a projects list in addition to the daily, but I rarely get to it. I see some list-tweaking in my future. At the end of the day, what I really need to focus on is what I’ve crossed OFF that list, right?
    Thanks, everyone!

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