People who actually do their to-do list

That's about right. I need to make a list to get motivated for my to-do list.

I am a to-do list addict. I have lists for everything: daily chores, blog post topics, bills to pay, groceries, household projects…it goes on ad nauseam. I have paper lists, iPhone app lists, and Google documents to house my lists. At this point, I need a list of lists as well as a directory for where I keep them all.

It’s kind of insane.

What I like about my lists is that they give me the feeling that I’m organized. I’m not a naturally organized person (you should see my desk at home. It’s frightening). It is work for me to be organized. Lists help me tell myself that even if I’m a mess, at least I’m trying to combat the problem (and effort is worth like 85%, right?) Additionally, I suffer from depression and anxiety and get overwhelmed very easily; having the lists on hand helps bring me back to reality and allows me to focus when I’m in the middle of an anxiety attack.

The problem is this, though: I Β never actually adhere to my lists (except at the supermarket. Most of the time). Lists have become like the speed limit on most roads. They’re a guideline. I use them as a way of telling myself what I need to do and what I want to write about but usually I kind of toss them aside and do what I want. Lists, for all their good intentions, are really a way of setting myself up to fail. When I look at a to-do list and realize I did nothing on it, I get sad and angry. Mostly due to the fact that I took the time to write it all out and then completely ignored it. But a little bit because I can’t even follow my own directions.

And all of this makes me jealous of people who can adhere to their to-do lists. I don’t know how you do it. How do you make a list and actually stick to it? Don’t you look at some things on there (like laundry) and say “screw it. I’m not going to do that today”? What keeps you motivated to actually accomplish what you intend to accomplish? And what do you use to keep your to-do lists safe and secure so you can actually use them (have I mentioned that I have a problem of writing lists and then losing them and then writing a new one and then finding the old one?)? Β I’m serious–I want to know.

Because if not, I think I’m going to put “master my to-do list” on my to-do list. And I have a pretty good idea as to how that’s going to go.


12 responses to “People who actually do their to-do list

  1. I was like you with lists floating everywhere and it began to get on my nerves. About a month & a half ago, I had an ephiphany…of sorts. Every Monday morning, I make a list of 5 -7 things that need to get done for the week. It is important to not go over 7 because then the list becomes overwhelming.
    The items on the list can be as simple as “clean master bathroom” or “pay cable bill”. The point is to get these tasks accomplished by Sunday afternoon, so I have the whole week to work on these; it doesn’t have to all get done in one day. And it has helped me sooooooooooo much!
    I post my list in the kitchen on the wall where I see it every day, and I feel such a sense of accomplishment every time I mark something off as “done”! I don’t forget to pay bills or buy cat food or get an oil change because it’s on my list.
    This purpose of this list isn’t to do ginormous projects like cleaning out the garage or start writing a novel. It’s just for the menial every day things that have to get done without succumbing to “mommy brain”.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I hope this helps! πŸ™‚

  2. I never, ever actually look at my to-do lists after I create them. They’re just there. I love when I look at my list later on and see that i finished all of the stuff on there, but those times are few and far between.

  3. Hi there lady! I am a new follower stopping by from link’n blogs. I totally hear you on the lists. I, too, am a list freak. Problem is, I generally lose my lists and find them weeks later.

  4. shannashoffner

    Good grief! You sound just like me! I have a notebook full of lists. And rarely get to finish them.

    Thanks for link’n up to Link’n Blogs! πŸ™‚

  5. You sound like me! I have a ton of lists that are never finished! Ever.

    Thanks for link’n up to Link’n Blogs! πŸ™‚

  6. Eeks, I’m actually one of those people who cross off their lists πŸ˜‰ My biggest motivator is that they just have to be done. I may not get to it immediately, but if I don’t sign up for roadside rescue like I have jotted down on my list, I might very likely need it and get screwed for not having signed up. So when I think in those terms, I’m more able to actually do things.

    Of course this isn’t all the time. I have a chore list, and I *still* haven’t cleaned up the shower stall. I suppose it’s not a huge priority as having roadside rescue so I just sort of ignore it, until the grime just kinda gets to me and in that case the grossness motivates me lol.

  7. I’m a lister as well…obsessive compulsive tendencies + anxiety issues make lists a necessity for me. I used to have a ton of different lists as well, but I finally found a method that works well for me – weekly to-do lists for both work and personal/home stuff, housed in a small journal notebook. Front half is work and is color coded with highlighters; back half is personal. Keeping lists keeps me sane (mostly) & on track & motivated. I am also one of those people that will put something on my list just so I can check it off. (Yes, I know I’m strange.)

    • I don’t think it’s strange. I think that you know what works for you. Plus, all those colors must make your lists really pretty πŸ™‚

  8. I recently started doing something that works for me, it’s not a list persay but it involves post it notes and physically moving them into a TA DA! pile when they are accomplished. It’s actually working, which is surpising given who I am.

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