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A To-Do List for My To-Do List

Modern Mrs. Darcy has a fun post about making a to-do list for your to-do list, and I want to echo that I do this everyday.

My bullet journal is not realistic.  It contains everything that needs to get done; some of it immediately though some of it can wait a day or two.  (And then, separately, there is a monthly long-term project section.)

Looking at the list makes me anxious.

So before I close down for the night, I make two post-it notes and stick one on the front of my work bullet journal and the other on the front of my personal bullet journal.  (Yes, I keep two separate bullet journals.)  The work one contains meeting reminders and tasks that must be finished before the end of the day.  The personal one just contains things like “cook dinner” or “write blog post” or “clean Linus’s cage.”

That way I’m ready to go first thing in the morning.  I know before I go to bed what needs to get done.  And I cross off all the must-do tasks and sometimes a don’t-put-this-off-for-too-long task.

Then the whole thing starts over again.  Anything undone is transferred to the next post-it note, and all the new stuff is listed.

Looking at the whole to-do list is overwhelming and it’s hard to know what to do first.  So choosing three or four things that must get done while I’m feeling calm and ready to relax means that those three or four things will get done, even if everything else remains on the to-do list another day.

Ta-da!

4 comments

1 Beth { 06.06.17 at 7:35 am }

I’m intrigued by your system. Reading it, I understand why it relaxes you but I think I would get overwhelmed by seemingly having more than one list. I set up events on my google calendar for things I need to do/remember. Partly this is because my phone will buzz and remind me, taking some of the pressure off to actually check the list. Partly this is because, with a toddler at home, many of the things I have to do (clean litter boxes, prep dinner, etc) only have a specific window of time (nap) and if I’m disorganized they will not get done. My phone reminders are a joke in my family because my anxious 6 year old, when she is lying in bed worrying she will forget something, will call to us and ask for “a reminder in mommy’s phone” for whatever task she is afraid to forget. And then she sleeps. My husband rolls his eyes but, hey, the system works. I am also realizing as I re-read my comment that my system works in large part because I always have my phone with me (in case my daughter has an emergency while at school – I’m a worrier like that) and it rarely notifies me of anything else except the odd text here or there so I don’t get distracted by other apps etc when I look at it for a reminder. I suppose if I was more tech or phone savvy the system would flop.

2 torthuil { 06.06.17 at 6:42 pm }

I do the same when overwhelmed. I write down a maximum of three things I know I can do, and then when they are done I can feel accomplished.

3 dubliner in deutschland { 06.08.17 at 6:45 am }

That sounds like a good system. I also have constant to do lists which I organize according to things that need to get down asap and things that have more time. Looking at a long list is overwhelming though so it definitely helps to break it down and try to tackle one thing each day

4 Turia { 06.10.17 at 4:05 pm }

This is really interesting. I have to be so careful with to-do lists because although writing something down means it stops taking up mental energy, I also get incredibly stressed if I can’t cross things off. So I haven’t figured out how to balance the longer term stuff, like forms I have to fill out two months hence, etc. If I don’t write them down they keep floating up into my brain, but if I do write them down then I want to cross them off!

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