A few weeks ago I made a video story on Instagram and received a lot of positive feedback about it so I decided to make a post talking about the topic. If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am very passionate about planning and organizing my days. I genuinely feel like I am a more productive and organized individual when I have my ducks in a row, and cannot stand constant chaos. Some people thrive in that kind of confusion. I am not one of those people.
I recognize that living by a to-do list and organized hourly schedule might seem daunting to many people. Honestly, it was daunting to me, too, for a long time. However, years of planning helped me create hacks and tips that make this all more manageable. Now, despite how “corny” it might sound, my to-do list and planner are necessities in my life. Between a busy job, parenting a toddler, managing a household, and balancing hobbies and self-care, my day is usually packed.
…and I know many other women have days just like this. So, without further ado, here are my tips for managing a busy to-do list:
1. Make the To-Do List in the Morning
For me, making my list in the morning helps me look ahead at my day in positivity. When I get up in the morning, I have a million thoughts running through my head about how my day’s going to look. Writing my day out helps organize these scattered thoughts and makes everything look more manageable. More often than not, everything is a lot less chaotic on paper than in my head.
2. Be Realistic About Tasks
If your list is 53 bullet points long and includes tasks like making a four-course dinner, running a marathon, organizing a fundraiser, and scheduling a parent-teacher conference all by 9:00 AM…
…you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Being realistic in daily goals is one of the keys to a successful day. First, spreading yourself too thin will only result in mediocre work. I know that I am more likely to do two or three things well than ten. Secondly, there is nothing worse than looking at a list of unfinished tasks. It makes me, personally, feel unaccomplished. Mentally clocking out after a busy day and knowing I checked off all the bullet points on my list is a good feeling.
3. Put Tasks on the To-Do List That You Must Complete
This point might seem weird, but this might be the most important. I put tasks on my list that I must complete. I am talking about easy, every day mundane things like making my bed or making coffee in the morning.
Why? First, it gets the ball rolling. If making my bed and making a pot of coffee are on my to-do list, I have already completed two tasks by 7:00 AM. That’s a great start and I, personally, am more likely to keep things going. Secondly, it’s all about mental heath. On some days, even simple tasks can be like moving mountains. Completing them makes me feel good and motivated.
So, these are my tips for your to-do lists. I hope they’re helpful! Let me know what tips you have, too.
Also, if you’re looking for an agenda, my favorite is the Day Designer. Every agenda this company puts out is beautiful, motivating, and so organized. I’ve been using Day Designer for years now and would recommend their products to anyone.