Monday, February 11, 2019

How I Organize My To-Do List and A Free Printable

I've never been a planner person. I usually follow a schedule but I like to be more spontaneous and open with what I have in my day. So Trevon was shocked when I told him I feel like I need some kind of planner lately. Not really so much to keep me on track hour by hour, but more so because when I have a lot going on writing it down helps me remember things and make me feel like I'm not overwhelmed with stuff going on. So I thought I'd share the process with you guys so that you can help your brain declutter too.

When I start feeling overwhelmed or like I have a lot to do, the first thing I do is a brain dump. I get out a notebook and write down every single thing I need to do that week. And I mean everything. From washing my hair to parent-teacher conferences and due library books. I write it all down in whatever order they come to my mind. Sometimes this alone helps me feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes there isn't as much for me to get done as I feel like there is. And other times, it helps me move on to my next step.

I started out just using a notebook, but then I found a planner system that worked really well for me so I made a PDF of it so that I could make it cute and have it ready for me to use any time I need it. I take the list I made and I schedule and fill in the most important things first.  Then I move on to the other things that need to be scheduled. Everything else that I need to do but doesn't need to be scheduled then become fillers. I put them in the reminder column and then when I have an extra hour or even a few extra minutes I can look at that list and make sure I start marking those off too.

The next section is for my intent of the day. This is something I did a few years ago that really, really helped me get through some tough days. Trevon was in school full time and working full time, we had a toddler and a newborn, and though I didn't really see it, I was dealing with some bad postpartum depression and was completely overwhelmed. The idea of setting an intention for each day was to give myself one thing to focus on each day so that I wasn't feeling so overwhelmed anymore. It could be as simple as "vacuum today" or it could be more broad like "be more patient" or "be productive". You can read more about that whole thing HERE. But after remembering that, I decided to add that section because it really did help lower my stress and lower my mom guilt for not doing the things I wanted to do each day. And every time I start feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list, I think of what I wrote as my intent for that day and focus on that!

Then I created a goal section. I think there is huge power in setting goals and when you write those goals down, they become more set in your mind and you work for them more. So, depending on the day, and on what I'm focusing on at the time, I write down a goal that fits for me. It could be a small goal that is just for that day, or a bigger, more long term goal that I've been working towards. It helps me see the big picture and helps me find more motivation to keep going.

If this planner is something that will match your needs, feel free to download a copy of each page HERE! It's free, so there's nothing to miss out on.

Are you a planner person?

What do you do when you feel like your to-do list is miles long?

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