I’ve always been a big fan of lists.
I love having that visual reminder of what to do next, what I still need to do, and (most importantly) what I’ve already finished! And even if my days don’t always go exactly according to my plan, I continue to faithfully make a Daily To-Do List each night before I go to bed, because I know how helpful it is to look at throughout the day.
My Daily To-Do List is completely different than my Master To-Do List.
Here’s how I set things up:
MY MASTER TO-DO LIST:
I think Master To-Do Lists are awesome… and I always have a very long Master List of everything I’d like to do (some day.)
My master list contains things like future home renovations and yard projects we want to accomplish; little fixes like chipping paint, a squeaky door, or a dripping faucet; ideas for my blog and business; deep cleaning around the house; larger 2-people organizing projects; sewing or craft projects I might want to try, etc. etc. None of these things are necessarily going to happen any time in the near future, but since I don’t want to forget them, they go on my Master List.
I don’t look at this list every day, but I keep it handy so I can always refer to it whenever I need to add something — or cross something off. I keep mine on the inside of the cabinet above my office desk. I don’t go in that cabinet every day, but it’s extremely easy to access when needed.
MY DAILY TO-DO LISTS:
This might be somewhat obvious, but my Daily To-Do Lists contains everything I’m hoping to do the following day — genius, I know! I often use my free printable Daily Planner sheets to write out my Daily To-Do Lists — however, there are plenty of days when I use a sticky note instead.
Included in my Daily To-Do List is my Top 5 List (yes, a list within a list) which is the 5 things I absolutely must accomplish the following day.
I keep my Daily To-Do List / Top 5 List on my desk, right next to my computer… at ALL times! This way, I can constantly see what’s next on my list without having to stop, think, and TRY to remember.
If you aren’t Type-A like me, I probably lost you a few paragraphs ago. That’s OK! I’m not finished yet…
How my lists work together:
I realize it might sound ridiculous to always have 2 separate lists going, but honestly it’s WAY less overwhelming than only having one list.
Let me explain… each day, I work really hard to finish everything on my Daily List. Of course, it doesn’t always happen so some things get shoved to the next day. However, once a week (usually on the weekends) I’ll glance over my Master List and add 1 or 2 things to my Daily List.
It might be something like:
- clean the master bathroom from top to bottom (including the shower)
- go through Nora’s 9-12 months clothes and purge what I don’t need or want
- change the sidebar images on my blog
- put WD-40 on all the squeaky door hinges
Like many of the items on my Daily To-Do Lists, none of these projects would take me more than 1 hour to accomplish — so I could easily do at least one of them on a Saturday afternoon or in the evening when Dave is home. However, unlike the items on my Daily List, none of these projects have a specific deadline — so I have the flexibility to work them into my daily schedule as I see fit. If I have to move them to the next day once or twice, it’s really no big deal.
So each week, as I complete the more pressing items on my Daily Lists, I’m also knocking off 1 or 2 items off my Master List at the same time — without being overwhelmed by the HUGE list of un-done tasks.
See, 2 lists really ARE better than 1
For me, it’s much less overwhelming to focus on only 1 or 2 of the items on my Master List each week — and I love knowing that I’m always making progress and chipping away at my ever-growing Master List.
Obviously, this won’t work for huge projects (like a new pool or a kitchen renovation) but you’d be surprised how many things you can cross off after just an hour of focused work.
Do you have any other systems for keeping Master and/or Daily Lists?