How to make a simple daily list
We all know that a woman’s work is never done. It’s a constant daily battle managing time, training our kids, and generally coping with a busy life.
In recent articles we talked a lot about using lists to prioritize our time. Here is a suggestion on how to get started:
First let’s be practical:
You will need paper (any scrap paper will do as long as it is at least A4) or you could use a computer spreadsheet if you wish.
You will also need a pen, some markers (different colors)
A ruler will probably help as well.
Oh, and if you’re like me, a good cup of coffee or tea is essential.
Now to the work items to make that list.
Divide your page into 12 horizontal sections. You can have more if you want. I find it quite difficult trying to fit 12 hours into the day without more! It is simply a matter of personal preference.
Having done that, we need to add a vertical column, so draw a line from top to bottom about 1/2 inch from the left side. In that column, starting at the top, place the times you want to list one below the other, for example, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, and so on. About 1 1/2 inches from the right ruler another vertical line. This one is so you can take quick notes as things progress. For example, you may receive a phone call and need to aim for a meeting tomorrow or realize that 5 minutes is not enough to vacuum the house.
Do you feel safe so far?
The next step is to write down non-negotiables like doctor appointments, hairdressers, that kind of thing. Since these are must-haves, I suggest using one of their colored highlighters here so you’ll get more notice as you work your way down your list.
You may need time in advance to prepare for the departure or event, so factor this into your chart, including travel time if necessary. You might even decide to do the weekly grocery shopping since you’re already out anyway. Put this in your “to do” planner now.
Having done this, now we must include it in daily activities, for example, taking the children to school, walking the dog. Normal daily household chores come in here too. Maybe you could use another highlight color so you’ll immediately recognize them as the regular daily necessities of a good plan.
Is there a task you’d really like to tackle but it seems daunting and time consuming? Divide this into smaller pieces. Planning a birthday party can be divided into baking a cake and freezing it, sending out invitations, etc. Don’t overload your daily list with too many of these bigger activities, as you’ll soon find that they take up more time than you planned and other things get left undone.
Now put your list somewhere obvious like the fridge so you can check off each item as you complete it. You will find that the feeling of satisfaction helps you continue to finish daily tasks.
At the end of each day review the list. How many things are still incomplete? Evaluate each one. Should it be placed on tomorrow’s list? Can you wait until another time? Can it be delegated to another family member? Do you really dislike ironing (or some other chore)? If this is the case, you may find that it is worth the money to give this job to someone else entirely.
At first, this task seems overwhelming and time consuming. Try it constantly for at least thirty days and you will be amazed at the change. You may even find lists fun. If so, visit http://www.familiesunplugged.com for more ideas.