Posted by on February 1, 2014


to do listsThere’s an art to the To Do list that I haven’t quite mastered. But I have learned a few things. Of course, my suggestions might make the Type A person shudder, but maybe not.


It’s Saturday, the day of for To Do lists, so here are a few tips to get you going:


1.  Be sure to put encouraging things on your list. Like “Give myself a hug”; “Shake my groove thing,” or “Have a leisurely cup of coffee.”


2.  Start with the most noticeable and easiest to accomplish tasks. Like the dishes. Getting the dishes put away can take five minutes, but make you feel like you’ve just cleaned up the entire kitchen.


3.  Delegate. Make up sub-lists for family members and/or friends. Of course, you need to be careful in how you present the list. Being passive aggressive can have very negative results (ie whining, hinting, etc.) Be honest, be direct, and ask, don’t order. And be realistic. Your teenager might enjoy rearranging the CD collection, but asking her to rearrange your sock drawer just isn’t right.


4.  Make sure you have ‘spend time with God’ somewhere on there. Although I don’t believe that reading my Bible somehow magically makes the day go better, it is food for the soul and shouldn’t be the first thing to go when we’re feeling swamped.

5.  Write down everything. Brush teeth, Comb hair, Make To Do List.  This will give you items to mark off and ramp up the forward momentum.

6.  Don’t put more than 10 items on your list at any one time. If you’re following the other points (1, 4, 5), this should leave you with around three tasks for the rest of your list. Make one of those a delegating and your down to two. You are doing great!

to do list 27.  Break up big jobs into small, manageable tasks. Be an ant.

8.  Alternate small manageable tasks with a reward of some sort—game of Scramble, Facebook time, reading, etc. And you should probably make sure the reward doesn’t last longer than the actual task you just completed.

9.  Remember to cheer for yourself. Negative self-talk can devastate a good To Do list.

10.  Mark off tasks as you accomplish them. With a Sharpie. And include a smiley face and/or a star sticker.

11.  Write your list in pencil. Making amendments to the list should never leave you feeling like a failure, but rather help you see that YOU, my friend, are in control here.

12.  Make your list in the morning or right before you go to bed (for the next day), and put it somewhere safe. Believe me, having to spend time looking for a lost To Do list can be very irritating and counterproductive.


And have fun! Don’t miss life cause you’re too busy staring at your To Do list. 

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Tammie Fickas
10 years ago

I love lists! Putting items on the list that are easy to check off is a great way to build momentum. Putting quiet time on the list is a wonderful idea also. I often forget that one :o(

Great post!

Cathy Baker
10 years ago

Good stuff! My to-do list is my best friend and Brian’s worst enemy. 🙂


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