My New System for My “To-Do” List

For the past couple of weeks, I have been neglecting this blog. I haven’t been writing on a consistent basis, and for one week I didn’t write anything due to illness. Things have been crazy for me, and I have had to schedule a couple of my days around some really weird things. But even though I have had a lot going on it is no excuse for neglecting something that I love to do and that I made a commitment to do.

The truth when it comes down to it is that the blog ended up being neglected because of my poor time management skills and my tendency to procrastinate. Instead of writing ahead when I have the time to write, I choose to do other things and many times those things are time wasters. I put off writing until the last minute and use every excuse imaginable because I am feeling afraid or overwhelmed or both.

I need to work on my time management skills and being more intentional about scheduling my time. I’m great at planning and creating lists, but I’m not good at following through with them. I will write a to-do list in a notebook and then turn the page and forget about it or leave the notebook in one room and forget it. (Out of sight is frequently out of mind when it comes to me and the lists that I make.)

Because making lists has not been working for me, I have been developing another system for my “to-do lists” and I’m hoping that it will work better for me.

Step 1: Write down tasks that need to be done on index cards.

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I have started writing down what I need to do on index cards. I write down one task that needs to be completed on each card. For cleaning I have been writing down the room on the top of the index card and then a list of what needs to be done in that room. (I have been thinking about laminating those cards so that I can reuse them instead of making new cards.)

Step 2: Color code index cards.

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To make it even more efficient I have been color coding them according to different areas of my life. After I write down what needs to be done, I then color in the top of the card according to the color key that I created. For things that need to be done for the blog I use the color red. For things around the house I use the color blue. For things I need to do for my grandmother I use pink and so on.

Step 3: File the index cards according to the day of the week the tasks need to be done.

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After coloring the card I then file it according to the day of the week that I want to complete the task. If it is not something that I need to complete that week, then I file it under the “Master To-Do” tab. Then when I am planning my week I can just pull items from the “Master” tab.

Step 4: In the morning pull out the task cards for that day. Carry with you.

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Because of “out of sight, out of mind” I keep the cards in an open tin on my desk, and then I pull out the cards for that day and can easily carry them with me during the day either in my pocket or in my purse if I am going to be away from the house. When I complete a task, the card is tossed unless it is a job that needs to be done on a regular basis then they go back in the tin under the “Master” tab until my planning time.

I am hoping and praying that by creating this new system I can get back of the self-discipline that I have lost since I am no longer working outside of the home and become more consistent in all areas of my life.

11 Comment

  1. Liking this idea! I hope and pray it works well for you. Still ‘need’ my paper planner.

    1. I have tried paper planners over and over again. They just don’t work for me.

  2. I hope your new system will work well for you, Misty! I’ve started using virtual sticky notes on my computer screen. They come in different colors, too!

    1. I have tried something similar to that although they didn’t come in different colors, and I have tried using real sticky notes. I have tried Evernote and a couple of other programs like Google calendar too. I start using them and then forget about them.

  3. Nice system! Out of sight is out of mind, for me too.

  4. What a great, innovative idea, Misty! This is especially good for those of us who work in offices that don’t allow cell phones. I usually put a reminder in my phone’s calendar, but if my phone’s not on me, it can’t remind me. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. You’re welcome, Colin!

  5. […] how I spend my time. I have created a daily routine to help me define my priorities. I have also revamped my to-do list and it has gone a long way toward helping me stay on track and not […]

  6. Still using this method, Misty? I still need to start something like this..

    1. I am still using it when I remember. I think that I need to tweak it some more and try to make it more visual.

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