I have been having a hard time focusing in my new location. Oh, there are lots of reasons. High humidity and heat that even having an A/C running doesn’t help. Having hoards of boxes still unpacked and no designated workspace set up (by Tuesday, I hope). Getting sucked into family craziness a bit. My son having an adjustment period to the new location, leaving him clingier and needing me, which I’m happy to give him what he needs. I think I may be going through an adjustment period myself, where I’m now the one home with my son rather than working a full-time job. But one of the main reasons I’m not getting more done in the day is because I haven’t been making my daily to-do lists.
I live for my to-do lists. My daily planner is written out in detail, I have lists of lists, and even though I don’t always accomplish everything I want to in a day, having the list keeps all my juggling balls under control and brings me back on track when I do stray. So why haven’t I been doing my lists? I’ve been trying to be flexible and kind to myself and not stress myself out by having things I need to do, but I think not having the lists makes me more stressed.
So how do I organize my daily to-do list? Generally, I assign different days of the week to work on different things. So for my exercise, I rotate through different DVDs (which are still in a box, so guess who hasn’t been exercising beyond chasing after their toddler?) depending on certain days of the week. Same with projects. A couple of days I focus on my art, a couple of days I focus on music, a couple of days I focus on my writing, but I try to do at least a little of everything everyday. Every week on Saturday or Sunday, I sit and plan out the week with specifics, plugging in my appointments, any freelancing work, etc I try to get specific, even down to which blog I update which days, when I say “writing” I actually put which writing project, etc. I include any daily chores that need to get done, and I suppose now that I’m home with my son, I’ll start including time for outings and projects with him. (Have I mentioned I’m a Virgo?). I also put meditation and something to do for fun on the list everyday, even if I know I won’t be able to do it. The effort of putting it on there makes me feel better.
I adore checking off items on my to-do list, but I’ve learned not to stress if I’m unable to accomplish all the tasks I’ve set out to do in the day. I do, however, feel very proud of myself when I do actually accomplish the entire list.
Now that I’m trying to build freelancing work, I’m also going to set up a big binder as my personal “Bible” this weekend. This will be a binder of my current projects under each tab – all sketches, all notes, a copy of the contract with ship dates, etc. I’ll keep my daily planner and mileage worksheet in there as well, because we’ve gotten VERY bad about tracking our business mileage.
How do you like to keep yourself organized? What brings you back on track once you stray?
Want to learn more about making to-do lists effectively? Check out these two articles!
- Lifehacker (I love this site!): http://lifehacker.com/5954123/back-to-basics-how-to-simplify-your-to+do-list-and-make-it-useful-again
- Greatist: http://greatist.com/happiness/make-a-to-do-list-get-shit-done