One of my favorite things to do is make a list of the tasks I need to accomplish on a given day. I also enjoy making grocery lists, menu lists, lists of projects to complete over the summer, a list of things to pack in my suitcase for a trip, and lists for what to cook when company’s coming.
And these are just the ones I write down…
I’m constantly making lists in my mind for the order I’ll accomplish my “to do list” or a list of things to talk about when I call a friend or a list of the order I’ll approach a subject in Bible study.
Maybe you aren’t an avid list maker like myself, but I guarantee that if you begin to make lists for simple tasks for your day, you will accomplish so much more! I’ve tried many different approaches to making lists, but the method I have pictured above is my favorite. (click on the picture to see a larger view.)
Basically my method is list all of the things I’d like to do on a given day. I don’t write them in any order; I just jot them down as they come to my mind. Often, I will write things that are habitual daily tasks for fun (Bible, shower, etc.). This gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I check them off, plus it helps me remember to make time for them.
Next, I take the numbers 1,2,3 and write them next to each task.
- 1′s: Things that MUST be done today.
- 2′s: Things I’d really like to do today.
- 3′s: Things that would be great to do, but if they don’t happen, it’s ok.
I then set out to do the things on my list. I try to stay disciplined to complete all of the 1′s before moving on to the 2′s. Then, I must do all of the 2′s before moving to the 3′s. This simple method helps me to keep my priorities in check and finish the items that are needed not just the ones that are fun or can wait another day.
The only exception to following the number system I allow is with time frames. For example, on my list for today I have “dinner” listed. I write this down everyday to make sure I do the prep work needed for this meal (set meat out to thaw, soak beans, etc.). However, since dinner often doesn’t happen until 7pm, I don’t wait until that “1″ is complete before I move on to doing my number 2′s.
This method has been highly effective for me to use my time as wisely as possible throughout the day. So often it’s more fun for me paint my toenails and read blogs, but if I know those things will come after I do the more productive items, life is a lot better.
What ideas have you found to help you be productive and organized with your time during the day? I’d love to hear about them!