One way to keep track of everything that needs to be done, or you want to get done is make a list. And if you have read my blog in the past, you have already heard me say that many times!! My use of lists is not constant. Sometimes I have multiple lists and things are getting checked off quickly. Other times the list is there, but it isn't being used (probably because I already did the easy stuff). And yes, sometimes I have no list at all.
The best thing about lists for me is that getting the ideas on paper relaxes my brain. I now don't have to think about those items because the list is the reminder. Just recently, I was cleaning up my desk and decided to write a reminder that I needed to pay a bill. Something on my desk triggered that memory, but I didn't want to stop to pay a bill, so I wrote it on the list. Next thing I realize I've added about four other ideas of things I need to do to the list.
The list is completely random, but later looking at it I realize some are items I can accomplish while watching TV, so I make a point to do one or two the next time I'm doing so. And then I also notice that several are errands. I make a mental note, or sometimes a reminder somewhere, to take care of these items next time I'm out. The grouping of the random ideas helps make our tasks more efficient.
Lately I just use spiral notebooks for my ongoing lists. I cross things off as I go. If most of the list is complete, I transfer the remaining items to a new page and start anew. My grocery lists get torn off and taken with me. Do you know how lost I would be at the grocery store without a list? I'm sure I would forget more than half the items I need!
I do use a free digital app for lists on my smart phone called Wunderlist! I probably don't know everything it can do, but I do know it is a great place to keep those random items you need to pick up at the store. My recent Grocery Wunderlist listed dish detergent, red onion, and coffee. See random and unrelated items. I open the app in the store, and check the items off as I find them. The items then disappear from my list. I just used it yesterday when looking at rugs, because I had listed the size of our current dining room rug. So convenient to look it up and know that 'yes' the rug we were looking at would be the right size. I'm sure there are other apps or tools on our smart phones that could be used to make lists. Whatever works for you is likely the right one!
And just for fun, I'll share some of my most common types of lists:
- List of Errands
- Things to Do (more general and random)
- Blog Ideas
- Project Ideas
- Birthday Ideas (usually around the time of someones birthday)
I'm sure I make other types of lists, but these would be the most common to find floating around on my desk. I'm a lover of lists! They help keep me organized and on track most of the time. The only time they don't seem to work is when I don't make them!
I do have a bit of a warning about lists too. And not just that they can be addictive. Lists can, if we let them, become a dictator of our lives. We can become too focused on the list that it is hard to let some things go. And yes, sometimes even though it is on the list, it can wait. Or it can just be left undone. And I've seen it happen with many people around the holidays. They make the list of the perfect Christmas and all the things they want and think should be done. They plod along tackling the list and not enjoying the season to be together with family. Just because you put make 4 dozen cookies for Christmas Eve doesn't mean you HAVE to do it. Or if 'send Christmas cards' doesn't get noticed until December 22nd, it's okay not to do them or have them sent after the holiday. The list is a guide of ideas you have had in your brain. The list doesn't have the final say. You and I do.
Tell me. Do you make lists? What is your most common type of list to make? Do you have an uncommon one you care to share?