How to Tackle Your To-Do List Once and for All

to do listHave you ever felt like your to-do list was like one in a cartoon where the paper just keeps unrolling into eternity? We feel you. Tackling your to-dos can feel like climbing a mountain with no top. This week we’ve got some tips to help make your task list feel a little less mountainous and you a little more victorious.

Use Multiple Lists

What? I can’t conquer this one list and you want me to create more? Just hear us out. By taking your big list and breaking it down into several others, it will make your daily list more achievable. You can create a monthly to-do list for your home, then a weekly and a daily. It’s also a great idea to create a monthly, or even yearly, master list for tasks around the house – think filter changes, HVAC tune ups, oils changes, etc.

The idea is to start big and funnel down into a smaller chunk of tasks. Check out the entire month and write down everything you must do — prescription refill pickups, PTA meetings, grocery shopping. Then break down that month into weeks. Each day, pull your daily tasks from that day only. Your daily to-do list should only have on it what you REALLY want to accomplish that day. Leave your “someday” items off of your daily list. “Teach my toddler to do her own laundry so I don’t have as much” and “Learn to make wine” do not belong on your daily list. When you have an achievable amount of items on your list, it makes you feel much more sane and accomplished (so sane you might not even NEED to learn to make your own wine)!

Prioritizing Tasks      

Prioritizing tasks can be almost as difficult as actually getting them done. Try this trick. If the day was ending in five minutes, which tasks would you be most upset about not completing? Put those tasks at the top of your list and then work down. Plan your daily to-do lists for the week on Sunday, or, at the very least, do each list the day or night before. Allow yourself time to think about which items MUST get done no matter what and consciously build each day’s list.

Tools

There are lots of great tools out there to help you organize your tasks, including good old pen and paper, a daily planner or various apps. Some apps to try include Evernote, OneNote and your iPhone’s or Android’s free reminder apps. Smartphone reminders can go a long way toward helping you remember to get everything done, so embrace technology.

Getting Help

Sometimes you look at your monthly, weekly and daily lists and realize there is no way you can go to soccer practice, the grocery store and the pharmacy all in one evening AND be at home to meet a repairman. Services like ours are designed to help you reduce stress, stay on track and make life easier. We can run errands, wait for service technicians and more. Contact Errand Works to discuss your needs. Whether you have one or two errands a month we can help with, or you would like to discuss a larger errand management system, we can be the key to helping you tackle those to-do lists once and for all.

After two decades of owning a medical transcription business, overseeing the household while her husband was deployed and managing the care of their special needs daughter, including hiring, training and scheduling multiple caregivers, Jennifer became aware of skills she had developed which would benefit others.

Jennifer has lived in Nokesville for over 20 years with her husband, Kurt, who is retired from the Coast Guard and in his 11th year of teaching middle school science in Prince William County. Their special-needs daughter, Katie, who is 28 years old, continues to live with them, with the help of several caregivers. Church and family are very important to them, as is reaching out to others.