To Do Lists

I love to do lists.

I don’t think I could organise my life, or even function, without my extensive to do lists. I love lists. There’s something therapeutic about breaking everything I need to – or want to do – down into little bullet points, things to be crossed off at some point. And it’s a way of making sure that I don’t get overwhelmed, and that I can make sense of all the things going on in my head.

I love too being able to cross things off – and sometimes there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off a list. And I admit, I have added things to lists, only to be able to cross them off because I’ve already done them. Sad, I know.

I tend to write a list of things to achieve each day, either the night before and that morning. It can be stressful if I get sidetracked, or something takes longer, and something unexpected crops up and I can’t cross things off after all. That’s when I start to get stressed out or feel annoyed that I didn’t achieve everything I wanted to that day. That’s when I get annoyed with myself.

Part of one of my extensive lists!

Part of one of my extensive lists!

And it works – most of the time.

Apart from when I have a long, rather overwhelming list, and I feel conflicted about what to tackle first.

Sometimes, this is vague, because I am tired or made the list in a hurry, and it just has something like ‘writing’ or ‘blog’ on it, or the name of my current project, without any clear goal. And that’s not helpful. Or maybe it’s because there’s so much I want to do, and I struggle with prioritising it. Or sometimes it’s because whatever I need to do is an ongoing project or something that will take some time to do. And that can be disheartening.

That’s when I need to remember to break things down – to make specific goals and aims, and I have got better at this in recent years.

I have also used them as a way to mentally beat myself up, which is no good! I always have to remember that it’s all about managing my time properly, making sure that I organise myself and allocate the right time to something.

But I don’t think that I’ll ever stop using them. There’s something comforting about putting everything you need to do down on paper and breaking it down – even if it can be overwhelming! Sometimes it’s the only way to make sure that everything gets done!

I read recently about a new technique called Bullet Journalling, which looks like an interesting way of using To Do Lists and organising yourself. I might have to try it one day – but for now, I’m sticky with my trusted To Do Lists!

Do you like To Do lists? How do you organise yourself?

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