Checklists are a great way to keep track of what needs doing. But only if managed correctly! Otherwise, it can lead to overwhelm quickly.
I’m a stickler for time management and ensuring I get things done. I’m the organiser in the family, and I confirm that we don’t forget anything.
Now that I’m a mom, I have to be extra diligent to ensure my little one is always provided for. And between all the different roles I have to play — mom, wife, employee, housewife, daughter and caretaker, to name only a few — I need to keep track of my life; otherwise, things spiral out of control.
Checklists make sure I don’t forget anything important, and it’s a great way to keep me on track. It’s also very satisfying to tick off items as done.
The good news is that there are many apps you can use to help you keep track of your to-do items.
BUT checklists go hand in hand with time management. Time management is essential because you won’t accomplish as much as you want to without it.
It’s easy to get busy without actually being productive, for example, cleaning the house. If you don’t put a time limit on it, the whole day could pass while you clean the house, and you never get around to buying the bread and milk.
So you need to be aware of your time and your priorities — you could probably live without a clean floor, but how can you live without milk in your cuppa tea?
Here’s how I do it:
To-do list — Trello (Mobile And Desktop)
I use a project management tool called Trello to manage my to-do list. I create the following columns:
- To do
- Important info
So, clearly, items I need to do I put in the “to do” column. I arrange them in order of priority, the most important one on top.
Once I’ve started with a task, I move it to the “doing” column. I add notes to each task to track where I am and what I still need to do.
Once I’m done with a task, I archive it.
The “deliveries” column I use to keep track of deliveries…I’m doing so much online shopping with this pandemic around; I need to keep track of delivery dates, tracking numbers etc.
I use the last column to keep my regularly referenced information, such as my tax number.
Arranging the tasks in order of priority is important because if I only have time to do one task in the day, I know which task is the most important to focus on.
Don’t let your to-do list get out of hand.
Review your list periodically. It’s easy just to add items to your to-do list, but at some point, you need to ask yourself if it’s worth your time.
If an item has been on my list for a few months and it’s never been important enough for me to do, then perhaps it’s time I remove it from the list and move on.
Shopping List — Google (Mobile and Desktop)
I love Google’s shopping list. It’s simple and straightforward. And because I can access it from my phone, whenever I’m at the shop, I don’t have to wonder what it was I wanted to get.
I can also easily add an item when I see or remember we need it.
Household Chores — Tody (Mobile)
Tody is an excellent little app that I use to keep track of which household chores need doing.
I add all the tasks I need to keep track of, like when to wash the bed linen, curtains, etc., and then the app reminds me of what I need to do.
I can also quickly check to see what items I have coming up.
It’s convenient and I highly recommend it.
Daily Items — Reminders
Tasks that occur daily but don’t fall into the other categories mentioned I create reminders for on my phone.
I hate notifications, so as soon as I see that reminder pop up, I won’t rest until I can tick it off as done.
For example, I write a daily email to my subscribers. I don’t ever want to skip a day, so I set a reminder on my phone.
I’m busy, I have a toddler that needs my attention, and I only have 24 hours in a day, same as everyone else.
So I do what I can to ensure I don’t forget the important stuff, and when I have a spare moment, I finish a task or two.
But, at the end of the day, I try to be happy with what I accomplished. You can’t do everything, and the reality is your to-list will only keep growing, no matter how hard you work on it.
So when you feel you need a break, take a break. Take a moment if you want to enjoy the moment with your family or friends. And forget about your to-do list.
The tasks will still be there tomorrow.