Finding time to get everything done and still make time and space in your life for what’s most important to you is one of your biggest, daily challenges, isn’t it?
In my last blog I talked about using templates as one very effective method for addressing seasonal or repetitive activities and tasks. Today’s blog I take a look at something similar – but probably more widely used. That’s using lists to keep track of your tasks and what you’ve accomplished. Even more specifically, I’m going to focus on using category lists wisely.
To stay comfortably within the framework of the priorities that you establish for yourself, you need to use different kinds of lists. Some people attempt to put all their tasks on one list. This inevitably fails because the list is just too long, too complicated, and can often be quite overwhelming.
Lists have their own hierarchy. So keeping boundaries straight and staying on track with your priorities is best accomplished by using the right type of list.
There are lots of ways to look at this. One possibility would be to create your lists based on specific kinds of activities. For example, you could have one list of personal tasks, another list for work tasks, and a third list for community or social activities in which you participate.
Separating activities into categories and putting each category on a separate list enables you to work with the most relevant list at the appropriate time.
- You might look at your personal list once a week, since many of the tasks will be repetitive – grocery shopping, car-pooling, children’s activities, sports practices and games, cleaning and yard work are examples.
- On the other hand, you could review your work activity list each night to get ready for whatever has to be done the next day. Some of these work tasks also may be repetitive, but many involve non-repetitive activity, like new projects, new clients, problems that need solving, and telephone calls to be made.
- The third list regarding community and social activities might be reviewed weekly. Many of the activities on this kind of list are a combination of repetitive tasks and one-time events. By reviewing this list weekly, you can take note of any scheduled committee meetings, dinners with friends, or planned time with family members.
Because you are reviewing your three lists at different times, and using them in different ways, you can be accomplishing a great deal and keep to your priorities without being overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks you need to accomplish.
Ready to give it a try? Happy list-making!
© Copyright 2010 Paula Eder, Ph.D.