Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How To To Do

Pickle-me-Kate at picklebums.com has a gripe with her to do list strategy.

Now, as you know, I am the Queen of To Do lists.

In fact, of late I have brought them to an even higher art-form than formerly imagined - because I have a WHITE BOARD and I have FOUR COLOURS of whiteboard marker.

    Rule Number 1 of To Do-ing:
  • Your first list entry should ALWAYS be "Make to do list". This gives you something to immediately cross off and give you that huge feeling of accomplishment.

  • Rule Number 2:
  • Break up the day with tasks that you gotta do no matter what. Therefore, breakfast, lunch and shower are all valid entries on the list.

  • Rule Number 3:
  • Give your list some headings - therefore washing is not just one entry, but a whole heading with entries for taking the washing to the laundry, sorting the washing, each individual load, pegging, unpegging, folding and putting away. That way, if you only get through half of it you still have that sense of accomplishment from all the ticks, rather than feel like a failure from looking at the pile of folding awaiting your attention.

  • Rule Number 4:
  • If all of those "oh also" moments that nobbled Kate kybosh you, there IS a solution. Use a different colour pen (or font if you are fond of computer listing) which mean that they are to be included in future lists but are not mandatory parts of your day's equation.

  • Rule Number 5:
  • Have measureables. I myself am a tickbox sort of girl, and with my headings system I can have a domino effect of up to 7 tickboxes for small completions. It is soothing, and if I really NEED extra validation I will do lovely swirly cross-out through the whole section on completion so I don't even need to look at it any more.

  • Rule Number 6:
  • Pace yourself. Allow for coffee/tea/cold water breaks because your fluids are important. In fact, a good to do list is best brewed over a beverage or two.

  • Rule Number 7:
  • Allow for contingencies. If a friend happens to pop by, do allow 20 minutes for the pleasure. If you feel the need to catch up on all your best friends in blogland, again, do not feel guilty (but set a timer).

  • Rule Number 8:
  • Things that HAVE BEEN DONE are allowed on the list. How else do you get that satisfaction for a breakfast clean up if your to do list comes a moment or two later? This rule also applies to things you inadvertently do during the day that weren't on your list.

  • Rule Number 9:
  • Listing is not a group activity. If anyone wants to "help", give them a pen and paper (or boxed off space on the whiteboard) to create their own.

  • Rule Number 10:
  • You are allowed to have long range goals on your list, but use your colours (or bolds or underlines or CAPS) to notify that these are logs to be split as kindling, not to be digested in an hour.

Here endeth the lesson - and starteth my day.

Blog? Tick.


BB said...

THAT is a classic post. It should get googled to bits!!!

You have me all fired up to list away (and you know I love a good list too... specially when there is a party looming and I am completely unorganised... like THIS WEEKEND!).

Coffee brewed, white board awaits - and away!

Debby said...

A list on how to make a proper to do list. You are a jeanie-ous!

Nikki aka Widdle Shamrock said...

Using your format would show me how much in fact I DO achieve in a day, lol.

Love it.

Anonymous said...

Love it. (And love the 'jeanie-ous' tag - that's a keeper!)

Must show my girls that other people use whiteboards too. They think I'm a bit whiteboard obsessed. (I have more than four colours too! - are you jealous?!)

Jayne said...

One must always budget a block of dark chocolate for each goal met ;)

Leenie said...

Great post. Love it all. (only twenty minutes to blog?-a timer might not even help there). I try to put the worst job at the top so I'll get all the other things done while I am avoiding it. :D

MissyBoo said...

I have a whiteboard at work (alas, there is only one colour pen) and a to-do list and quite happily follow your rules there... however, I just cannot transform the to-do list strategy to home life :(

katepickle said...

You are the master of To DO Lists... I bow down before you in much adoration and awe!

Farmers Wifey said...

You are so organised. When you have a whiteboard, you have really made it! Maybe I need to copy this list and put it somewhere I can see it daily lolol

Unknown said...

What a great list of stuff about lists!! I have a whiteboard above my desk AND coloured markers, and yet...my to do list is a shambles :( Have to get disciplined!

♥.Trish.♥ Drumboys said...

Priceless advice and I am getting the blackboard screwed up asap I think chalk is so satisfying and also wipes off walls if it falls into the wrong hands LOLz.