One way to organise your life a little better is to start planning what you intend to achieve each day by writing a daily To Do List or Action Plan.
To Do Lists when used correctly can be a really good tool to help you organise your home and help you and your family keep on top of things
The important thing to remember that a To Do List is not just some never-ending list that you add stuff on to haphazardly.
I say that because one day when I was at a client site, I heard a senior manager laugh and say that his To Do List ran into pages. I could not make out whether he was bragging at how much he had to do (meaning how important he was), or his inability to delegate and prioritise (meaning how inefficient he was.) What was certain was that his definition of a To Do List was entirely different to mine or what I am trying to advocate here.
In my opinion a To Do list that is long and unmanageable, defeats the whole reason for having a list of things which need to be done. Why?
- The list is so overwhelming
- It is stressful
- It doesn’t prioritise
- Does not look at whether tasks can be delegated to others
- Actions are likely to become out of date or irrelevant.
- Most importantly it is not realistic and no deadlines have been set
For me a To Do List is not so much what I have to do, more like what I have got to get done today list. “To Do Lists” need to short enough that generally they will not include more than a week of activities and the list needs to drill the to do’s down into small bite sized pieces. Then the joy for me, is being able to tick off everything as I action it.
How to plan a good To Do List
- Write your To Do List or Action Plan the day before and review it the following morning
- Organise items down into small bite sized pieces
- Prioritise each action one to ten with ten being vital and one being can be done whenever.
- Urgent items highlight or asterisk
- Set a deadline
- Tick things off as they are completed.
My own additional incentive is renaming my To Do Lists to a “What I am going to get Done Today List”. Subtle difference, I know, but it has a more positive spin that I am going to complete a set of tasks, and personally I am a great advocate of positive prophesy.
The benefits of a What I am going to Get Done Lists – or if you still prefer, To Do Today Lists are they focus you on what is coming up on the conveyor belt right now. It means that we are less likely to forget the things which are growing more urgent and important by the day.
It gets things out of our brains archive system and into our “In Box”. I say this because I don’t know about you, but even the act of writing things down seems to help keep me focused on getting my list of tasks completed. more easily.
And probably the best thing about the What I am going to get Done Today list is that it reminds you what you have in fact managed to achieved despite maybe feeling overwhelmed, or frustrated at your lack of progress.
This then puts you in a much better frame of mind. So whether you are a busy working mum or a busy at home mum take a few minutes out, to sort out What I am Going to Get Done (Today) List.
PS And teaching the kids how to organise themselves using To Do Lists is a really good habit to get them into. Whether they use it to remember their PE kit, or to plan their homework it will definitely help them.