Saturday, January 31, 2015

Saturday Special: Backwards To-Do List
Last Monday, I created a backwards to-do list. I have a Page-a-Day calendar that I use to create my daily to-do lists, and when I woke up on Monday, I had several lists with undone to-do list items from previous days. Monday's page, however, was blissfully blank.

So I decided to try something. Rather than copying all of those undone to-do items onto my blissfully blank page, I simply hung on to the old pages, copying the items onto Monday's page after I did them. New items went on the old lists, so at the end of the day, instead of another list comprised of both completed and incomplete items, I had a lovely list on Monday's page -- one where everything was checked off.

Some days, we need this. It's easy to get caught up in the minutiae of daily business and lose track of all we've accomplished, remaining focused only on what we've left undone. When we consolidate bits and pieces of previous lists onto a single page, we often feel defeated before we begin.

Daily to-do lists are meant to be about what we can accomplish that day, but in our zeal to do it all (and remember it all), they often become the Mt. Everest of lists. I'm a big proponent of having both a master list (Mt. Everest) and a daily list (the foothills of life), and some days, when the lists have become a mountain range of their own, I wave the white flag, in the form of a Post-it Note sent to me by professional organizer Cindy Bernstein:

For those of you who, like me, prefer the old-fashioned paper-and-pencil list, here's a great article from Forbes about how not to torture yourself with them. And if you have an "I need to see it" style (as I do), here's a piece of advice: abandon the app and pick up the pencil. You need to see it, remember?

How about you? What do you do to show your to-do lists who's boss?

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