Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How I make my daily "To Do List"

I am trying to make a daily "To Do List" each night for the next day's use. After recently reading a couple of books by Elizabeth George and also based on some other books already in my homemaking reference book stack, I have become really motivated to be a better manager of my time. This is an on going struggle for me, because there is so much I need and want to get done!

I use three steps to make my to do list:

1. Prioritize by categories

The first thing I need to do when making the to do list is to remember what is most important in my life. Here they are:

1. God
2. Husband
3. Children and Grandchild
4. Mother/Family
5. Home
6. Job
7. Friends
8. Everything else

So when making my to do list, I need to make sure I take care of what is most important. Sometimes they overlap but this is a good guide to go by.

2. Choose from a master list

After reminding myself of my priorities, I made a list of responsibilities, events, "wants" and "needs". I just scribbled out a bunch of items that I brainstormed. I'm sure I will add to or take away from it from time to time.

Here's my list in no particular order:

Yard work/Gardening
Bible Study/Prayer/Church/Ministry
My Job
Financial/Pay Bills/Balance Check Book/Banking
My Mother
Friends/Sick/Shut ins

When making my To Do List, I scan this list to see what needs attention that day, again remembering my priorities listed above. This helps to jog my memory.

3. Check my calendar. I write every thing I can think of down in a smaller planner/calendar. Any appointments, days off work, or what ever. This is essential in making sure I don't miss a dentist's appointment or forget some other important date.

Just for an example, here's what is on my to do list for today:

Bible Study
Mail Bills
Answer E-Mails
Cut out quilt squares
Iron hubby's shirts
Blog Post
Upcoming birthdays
Mail card to Ms. B.
Thank you card
Supper is Tortilla Chicken Bake (Page 41 in Country Casseroles cook book)
Talk to daughter
Five Minute Jobs

Some items on my list have a multi-function. For instance, ironing shirts and cooking supper will make Number Two on my priority list happy.... Husband! But these also fall under the category of cooking/menu planning and housework. Working on a quilt could fall under the category of a ministry and family, since the ones I am working on are gifts to family members. I want to pursue making baby quilts for needy mothers-to-be, so this would definitely fall under a ministry. Even a blog post could fall under the category of ministry.

If you are wondering about 5 minute jobs, here's an explanation. Its hard to do a big cleaning job on weekdays before or after work, but 5 minute jobs can be done which add up to make a big difference. While the coffee was brewing this morning, I did a detailed job of cleaning the kitchen sinks. It looked so nice afterwards and gave me such a sense of accomplishment!

I hope this post has given you some ideas for getting more organized with your time management. I would love to hear any ideas that you may have. I am always seeking to learn more about time management and homemaking.


DarcyLee said...

You always inspire me with the way you get so much accomplished. Thank you!

Alexandra said...

This is a wonderful explanation/tutorial on time management. I'll have to link later. I do the five minutes almost everyday, or actually I tackle small areas at a time. It turns out about five minutes at a time. By the end of the week, you've knocked out a lot of tasks.

Happy Thanksgiving if I don't make it over here again before Thursday!

Lyn said...

I find that little jobs here and there are the way to go. It really helps especially when I don't have enough energy to do larger tasks. At least I feel like I am accomplishing something too (as you mentioned).

I think you are doing great with your time management.

Anonymous said...

Hi Debbie,
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!


Debbie J said...

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you too!

Hey to you Coleen!

Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking said...

I have an Elizabeth George book that I'm reading and finding it very inspiring.

That's a good way to prioritize and allocate your time. I do the 5 min small jobs too - sometimes it's the only way to stay on top of things!


A Sunday Nugget - Mercy

I am so thankful for God's Mercy!!!  I can never, ever, be good enough, but with His Mercy, I am made whole. Matthew 5:7 - "Bless...