Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The art of list making

Like baking the one-bowl chocolate cake, list-making is effective and produces great results when you have:
§  Appetite: I WANT to do this
§  Desire: I’m GOING to do this
§  Ingredients: all the items on the list
§  Tools: something to record with and on

This process is a way of getting control back in our lives; of identifying and managing our commitments to ourselves and others so that we start WORKING TOWARDS THE FINISH LINE!

Before we start, there is one ground rule: We are not creating more work for ourselves with impossible lists attached to disproportionate timetables.  This is the beginning of a transformation into stress-free achievement and efficiency. 

Time is one of the most valuable things we have! And guess what…..EVERYONE’S time is valuable!  If you are the CEO of a corporation or COO of your home, no one can be productive when feeling overwhelmed and disorganized. 

The journey, therefore, begins at home…..keep your pen and notes handy at all times…..initially you will need some uninterrupted time in whatever environment stimulates thinking…we are beginning small....


1. Record EVERYTHING you need to do this week (or think you need to do)
§  regardless of what day it is, end your week on Sunday
§  don’t worry about order or priority for now….just get it all down
§  this isn’t a wish list….write down what you actually have to do

Based on full-time working (outside of home) mom, two teenage boys (high school), full-time working spouse who shares in household responsibilities, no outside house cleaning, hobbies
            1. Feed family
            2. Grocery shopping
            3. Laundry
            4. Clean house
            5. Job interview for son
            6. Purchase cleats for boys’ tryouts
            7. Haircuts
            8. Birthday cards for extended family March birthdays
            9. Twitter, facebook, gmail, blog
            10. Personal hobby time: finish painting for auction
            11. Exercise
            12. Pay bills
            13. Shovel sidewalks
            14. Garbage
            15. Recycling

2. Record EVERYTHING you can think of that needs to get done this month

            1. Pay bills
            2. Dinner party
            3. Birthday gift for niece
            4. Fix caulking in main bathroom
            5. Organize winter/spring clothes – donation of excess?
            6. Take in vehicle for windshield repair
            7. Orthodontist
            8. Eye appointment
            9. Review household budgets
            10. Start thinking about themes for the art show
            11. Volunteering at art gallery
            12. Lose 5 lbs (ha ha)
            13. Exercise plan for family?
            14. Call sisters
            15. Call parents

3. Record EVERYTHING you can think of that needs to get done this year

4. Record EVERYTHING you can think of that falls on your wish list

Think of list making as a way of having a personal assistant…..of getting control.

Next we will explore how to manage the lists you have created and I'm doing it as well!

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