I mentioned lists briefly in my post yesterday on time management. I know after years and years that I accomplish more by making lists. It can be a list of one thing or twenty, but a simple list WORKS for me.
I remember specifically that while in college I would write and rewrite lists to keep me on top of school work and other tasks that were new to me as a young person on my own. I preferred the lists to look neatly written and were in bright colors if possible. I likely was a little obsessed with my lists.
I have never stopped making lists, but probably by the time I had kids, I didn't have time to color code and rewrite my lists of tasks to be done. The kids came before that obsession luckily. In fact, I had to let some of the tasks go. It wasn't important to dust the top of the fridge every week (just a random example...I don't think it was really ever a task)!
My lists now are written on random scraps of paper. Occasionally some lists are written in notebooks. Some are written simply with a ball point pen, while others do get neatly written with a colored marker. I don't really care which as long as the list (or note) helps me to remember.
Some lists are still in my head. I have found however, that the lists I write down allow me some freedom in my brain. If I write it down I don't need to keep thinking quite so much about it. The note or list will trigger my brain when I'm ready to think about it again.
Just yesterday morning, I noticed a piece of paper next to my computer that indicated I should take some papers to the recycling bin. I'm so glad I saw it because I was able to get nearly a foot tall pile of papers out of my house and onto the curb before the sun was even up. If I had missed my note, I would have had to wait at least another week to get the papers we had already decided to part with out of our home.
Now don't get me wrong, I can operate without a list on many, many things. I'm just so much more efficient with written lists. I'm noticing this to be the case with my list of meals for the month. I can glance at my list of meals when I make my grocery list each week. I can also look at it after dinner to be reminded what I need to make for tomorrow. If I need to thaw something, I can pull it out right away so it can begin thawing for the next nights meal. That helps make me much more efficient.
I'm thinking as part of my time management goal for February, I will be revamping my use of lists. I think I need to take time each day to manage my lists and help me prep for the current day as well as the next few days to come. So I will keep making lists. I will just find a way to be even more efficient in using them. I won't be buying any major system. I think anything I come up with can be done with just simple paper and pens...preferably in pretty colors!
Tell me about your habits with making lists! Do you make lists? Are they handwritten? Do you color code or use symbols?