Monday, January 09, 2012

Things I have to do...

...but I don't plan on making myself busy with them.
does that make sense?

I mean, I have a to-do list that, to me, seems pretty long. Yet, none of them are ubber important. I have added a priority rating per say to each of them.

There are things like, redesign the aePhotography blog/website, build/paint shelves for our closet downstairs, make curtains, go through all of our clothes and purge at least 40% of them.

Nothing earth altering and none of it has a deadline date to it.
This is a good nature is to make a list and want to get through it at lightning speed.

But then, I just find myself busy checking off to-do list items and missing out on life too, missing out on spontaneous creativity and such. So...not this round.

Even though, I felt that I had pretty much effectivly redone how I put my to-do list together, the researcher in me decided to look around to make sure I wasn't missing some other super effective changes.  Here's what I found:

  • Organize the lists - i.e. "Tomorrow," "This Month," "House Maintenance," " Personal."
Let's take the "Tomorrow" list...they say:
  • Spend 15 minutes at the end of each day to plan "Tomorrow's" to-do list. Not at the very end of the day...then you will just end up jotting down what didn't get done today. Give yourself time to plan, check out tomorrows schedule, the calendar, etc.
  • Don't write your to-do list on the morning of the day you plan to complete the list. It should already be waiting for you.
Why? Writing a to do list the day before has many advantages over planning your upcoming day on the morning in question. After all, you have just completed a day’s work and hence you should have a good idea of where you are in the grand scale of things. What didn’t you get to today? What tasks will naturally fall into tomorrow’s to do list? Writing tomorrow’s to do list can also be a way of recognizing that everything does not all need to be done in one day.
  • Prioritize the tasks.
Oh good, I was on top of this one! Give them a rating of sorts, Red = Get it done, most important, Yellow = Want to be done soon, Green = No deadline, get done when you have time.

When color coding a list, it's important to bump previously unchecked, incomplete into a higher priority for the next day, to encourage thier completion.
  • Don't make everything Red, there's no need to be dramatic about your to-do list.
Go digitial. Trust me, as much as I love a handwritten to-do list...going digital just makes sense. For example, on my phone I use "Evernote" or "Springpadit." In the past I have used apps like "Remember the Milk" and "Todoist." There are also online applications as well, such as "Tadalist," "Toodledo," and "Remember the Milk." RTM can be used on  your phone and web...making it one of the best all around options! Just remember, don't get too fancy with the lists. It's pointless to have a to-do list app or program that takes longer to set up and manage than it does to actually complete the items on the list. duh.

Other things to remember...don't write things like "start..." or "research..." on your list...items like that are time suckers with no real end point. Also, manage your completion and reward yourself with a break. Days are meant to be loaded down with to-do this and to-do that. Remember...a few mall things done in a timely manner each day will give you more time...don't fill it back up.

Here's to a more organized,  less crazy busy 2012. :)

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