The to-do list

Now the big clean-out seems to be looming in the future – at least at my house.  It hasn’t happened yet.  I hope that it will soon.  But admitting that it needs to happen is the first step, right?  I have identified the problem.  And I know what I want it to look like.  But finding the time to get it started, let alone get it done – with all the other daily stuff that the house and people IN the house need – is a task in itself!


So I’m going to talk about another organizing tool – or torture devise – depending on how you see it!  The To Do list!  Some people love writing out lists and checking things off – and some people just keep the list in their head.  But however you do it, you’ve got a list.  Somewhere.  And as for me, I have a ton lists.  A daily list.  A long term list.  A weekly list.  Lots of lists!

So to those that do not like the list, here are some benefits to making to do lists – about anything, really – long term projects, daily tasks, things to get, things to do.  And some ways to use the list, once you have made it!

The Good:

Visualize – You get to see what needs to be done.  Sometimes the task seems so big, that when you write a list, it doesn’t seem so bad.  Or the flip side of that – the task seems simple, but when broken down, it is revealed to be more involved.

Prioritize – Having the tasks written out helps you see what needs to be done first, get you on the right track and keep you on the track!

Sorting and Grouping – The list will also help you sort and group items together – making things a little easier…

Delegate – This is a great way to get through the list faster.  Get some helper!

Remember – And yes, the list will help you remember what needs to be done.


However, there are some bad things to making lists.  Yes, I know, I just said that.  Unbelievable, right?  But this is where I am most of the time.


The Pitfalls:

Lose the list – Where did it go?  Now what?  I wrote it down to remember.

  • Go digital with backups.  Or store lists in a notebook or journal.

No action – You get caught in just making lists and nothing ever gets done.  Then the list keeps growing and overwhelms you.

Dreaming too big – Sometimes you add too much to the list or start getting too deep – instead of focusing on “first things”

  • For these two, start small and keep things focused on one topic or area

Making vague lists – Not being specific enough about what needs to be done can be immobilizing.

  • Instead of saying “clean room” say “fold clothes, make bed, etc”


So with those ideas in mind, let’s make some lists!!