Life is busy. Between e-mails to return, appointments to get to, the kids’ sports schedule — it is a lot to remember to do. As a result, there are times when you forget. Or, if you are like me, you remember ……and forget…… and remember again three weeks later!
The way to I keep your life in order is to make a list of what I need to do every day. It is really the only way I can keep myself sane and find balance.
When I don’t make a list, I find myself often jumping from task to task. I feel that, although I was busy all day, I do not feel I got anything done. By the time the kids get home, I still have thoughts about things I need to do running through my brain.
When I started using a to do list, I felt better. I actually felt like I was getting things done every day. I no longer stress about trying to remember to take care of something in three days (constantly saying it in my head).
I was using plain paper and a pen to write down what I had to do every day. However, I still noticed I was sometimes forgetting about things that I might need to do the next day. I found myself making short lists for each day of the week and jotting down my notes on them as I thought of things. However, it still was not well organized (at least enough for me).
I set out to find a list that had everything I wanted on it and laid out in a way that worked for me. I found a lot of great ideas on Pinterest, but not one that had absolutely everything on one list. That made me decide to make my own.
Introducing….the Penny Pinchin’ Mom Daily To Do List!!
You can print one for yourself to start using today.
HOW TO BEST USE THE SYSTEM
It might seem pretty self-explanatory, but I wanted to share the best way to put this list to work for you. Of course, my system may not work for you, but it might give you some ideas of what you can do to make it your own.
One of my best tips is to have two lists on your desk. Keep today’s list on top. Try not to give yourself too many things to do each day. If you do, you often will not get them all done and may even stress yourself out by trying to do too much.
Plan out today’s list — around 5 – 6 items if you can keep it that small. Then, if you think of something else you need to do, do NOT do it today. Instead, write it down on the next day’s to do list. Doing so will allow you to keep your focus on what you need to do right now and not worry that you will forget it tomorrow. Think of something you need to do in the morning when you are fixing dinner? No worries. Write it down on tomorrow’s to do list, and you won’t have to worry about forgetting!
The best reason to keep your list shorter is to allow for the unexpected. When your list is shorter, you are building in extra time for something that might need to be taken care of right away — but you can still get everything done that you need to do!
HEALTH / FITNESS
It is so simple for life to get so busy we forget to take care of ourselves. One of the best ways we can do this is to drink enough water. There are eight water droplets on the form. As you drink your 8 oz of water, just circle or cross it off. You will be able to monitor your water intake and find out if you need to work more on this or not.
There is also space for you to write down the exercise or other health/fitness things you want to note. If you plan on walking 2 miles, then you can write it down so that you see it staring back at you – until you can cross it off!
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think about dinner plans and then forget to pull the chicken out of the freezer. Then, come dinner time, I have to change gears because of this. By writing down your meals for the day, you can make sure that you have all items on hand before you start cooking. It can also help keep you from running out to dinner (which can save you money).
LATER THIS WEEK
There may be times when you think of something you need to take care of, but it is not a task for today or tomorrow, but maybe a few days from now. You can either have additional to do lists ready and write it down on the right date. Or, you can jot the note down here. Make sure you carry it forward to the next day’s list, so you don’t end up forgetting!
Every day we need goals. It helps keeps us on track and gives us the sense of accomplishment that can keep us motivated. Your goal could be as simple as finishing up the to do list. It might be getting the closet cleaned out. It could even be making sure to take 20 minutes for yourself.
Goals are never right or wrong. They are yours, and only you know what they should be.
These days, many people keep track of appointments with their phone calendar. That is helpful. However, if your alarm is going to go off only 30 minutes before you have to be there, you might still forget.
By writing down your daily appointments, you will be more aware of where you need to be during the day, which helps you better plan out how you will get things done. For instance, if you have to be at the doctor at 10:00 a.m., you would probably not dig into a 3-hour project at 8:30 in the morning. Instead, you would do that once you were home from your visit.
These are listed as helpful ideas for things you might need to do every day. Some of these may not apply to you, so you can skip them — or do your own version of them. These are helpful ideas of things you might do every day, so you do not have to write them down as one of your to-dos.
This section doesn’t need any explanation at all. Anything that doesn’t fit onto any lines could be written here. You might have a new idea on how to organize the pantry, and so you want to remember to check into it.
There you have it! A way to put the Daily To Do Checklist to work for you. When you create a daily plan, you will be able to get the things done that you need to….and might feel a lot less stressed!