Most folks have a number of things on their to-do lists every single day, me included. Lately I've been really trying to jump into things, get a lot of work done and push through before school starts. Everyone has a different way of plotting things out, but I thought I might share what's worked for me more recently.
First of all, I'd just like to say that pretty paper, pens, pencils, and post-it's actually do help make this process more fun. Just a thought.
You can use these tips for organizing your home life or work life, school work or just one big job or project for a week, six weeks, a month or just three days--whatever you want!
- I take a legal pad out and write down general categories. These can be classes you're prepping or taking, home life (chores, bills, correspondence, calendar events), or just areas of your life (work, home, personal).
- Jot down everything that needs to get done in your given time frame for each category.
- Open up your calendar for your time frame and look to see when those items need to be done and assign each one a "due date."
Now you're armed with the master list--a huge collection of what needs to get done when. Here comes the best part. I know it seems like a lot, sometimes seeing it all can be a bit overwhelming, but I promise this will help.
There are two options:
- Take that list and reference every day. Write down a sticky note all you need to get done ONE day at a time. I like to do this the night before so when I wake up and open my planner, it's already laid out, no surprises. You can do it that morning over a cup of coffee. But it's just a small list to help move you forward. OR, option #2:
- Plan out every day from now to your final due date. Every day gets a list that you can follow that whole time. I like to re-evaluate as I go whether that's at the start of a new week (If I've planned out a month or two weeks) and adjust what I need from there.
People find their own systems, color coding, hi-lighting, online calendars, whatever works for you, honestly! Check it off, scratch it out, mark all of that stuff until you see nothing but a finished list. There is truly so much satisfaction is marking off completed things, am I right?
This system works for me. It not only helps me see the big picture of what's got to be done, it's helps me tackle it one bite at a time. You know that old saying, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
Well, that's how I take one bite at a time. Doesn't mean I don't get stressed, or still get a little panicky when I'm feeling behind, but it allows me to map out a plan, take a breath, and get stuff done!
What are your best tips for plotting out to-do's?