Today’s month of faves prompt is all about what we use in our lives to get things done.
I’m a simple woman, y’all. I use simple tools. Two of them, in fact.
1. To-do list: I have a paper to-do list in a notebook that I use to organize my busy, busy life and many, many tasks. When that’s not available I will use the Notes app on my phone. I also had a whiteboard installed in my office when I was in charge of a huge project so I could keep track of everything related to that project right where I could see it every day. I’m no longer on that project, but the whiteboard turned out to be a lifesaver during this insane semester when I could barely remember what classes I had on which days.
I would be lost without my to-do list. LOST. If it’s not on the list, it probably won’t get done, tbh. (Let’s be real: if it is on the list, it sometimes doesn’t get done.)
The key to the to-do list, of course, is to break everything down into incremental tasks. That way, even if I don’t fully complete a project/chore, I can see what progress I have made on it and also gain a sense of accomplishment.
Oh! Earlier this semester I had an epiphany. I split my list into two parts: to-do and choose to do. The regular to-do list is everything that I need to do. The choose to do list is mostly related to self-care and those things I usually let fall through the cracks. It was important for me to have both so I could prioritize what was necessary for my mental health as well as stuff that I knew had to be taken care of. It made a huge difference.
2. Google calendar: I started keeping an electronic calendar when I had my Blackberry at the suggestion of a medical provider when I mentioned how I kept missing/forgetting appointments. She advised me to use my phone to keep track, and I have never looked back.
If it’s not on the calendar, it doesn’t exist. Period. My daughter learned this the hard way when she was fooling around and not putting her activities on the calendar, and I was scheduling right through them.
I also put the premiere dates for TV shows on my calendar. (Because how else will I know when to set the TiVo???) My daughter thinks this is hilarious, btw. Yet she will ask me when a show is going to air, so I think we all know who the winner is.