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I have two lists that record every little extra task that is not a part of my routine activities.
1. My overall to-do list
2. My today to-do list
Overall to-do list:
This is where I dump everything from my brain. I have a bad habit of writing things on pieces of paper and I’m left with bits of my brain floating all over the house! I am disciplining myself to keep all my thoughts in one place – which means typing it all into one file on my computer. It is tempting to buy special computer software for this but I have come to the conclusion that to keep it nice and simple, reduce learning curves and costs – the best choice is to simply use Excel. This is a spreadsheet programme that has your page divided in columns. Each column is a sphere of my life or a specific project. For example at the moment, my headings are:
Conference (this is a project I’m working towards)
Homeschool Workshop (another project)
Office (sometimes this is divided between computer work / phone calls)
Creative Memories (business tasks)
I simply list everything – no order – and then when I review it daily, I select the top 5 things that I need to get done today. I make these bold. Most days I transfer this to my daily to-do list but if I don’t then I can still quickly see what needs to be done.
Once it is done – then I simple delete that info off my list!
My daily to do list
I got this idea from www.simplemom.net and it works for me so well. I have created my own to suit my lifestyle. I have a different sheet for each day of the week, this is because on the left hand side is my daily trigger times. These are the times that signal to me that we need to change activity, mostly these are meal times and chore times.
On the right hand side I have grouped things (much like Simplemom) into broad categories of my day so I can have a quick glance at what is going on. Some people may say that this is a double up but I find this form ties it all together for me. I can have my rosters all typed up, diaries (online and printed), and automatic reminders but I actually take control of my day so much more if I physically write myself a list. My categories are:
My Children’s hearts: this is a quick reminder of the things I am working on or want to address today.
My Priorities: I hope to work on 5 priorities for each day. This maybe lessons, or a phonecall, or a trip to town. It varies each day but this list helps me keep my eyes on the main thing.
Today’s Menu: I copy this from my menu sheet, this helps me make a mental note of any prep that I need to do.
My Commitments: Information is taken from my diary/calendar. Seeing this listed here helps me organize my other things around these time constraints (commitments).
Today’s Lessons: Once again I copy the information from my lesson plan sheet – this is simply a list of lessons, one after the other. As I write the list up, I am doing a mental checklist that I am ready for these lessons.
My Blog and Website: This is a little corner of my list where I can write thoughts, as they come to me throughout the day, that I can blog about. If I don’t write these thoughts as notes then I am tempted to jump online and post then and there – or I forget about it all together. Neither are very good, so writing myself a note is a good habit to get into.
This form alone pulls my control journal together. It covers
Training my children
Food for the family
Jessica and I once heard that making ticks – as in ticking off a list – sets off endorphins in our brains and makes us feel good. So we are all for making lists and ticking them off! This form is fully disposable and has plenty of opportunity for making ticks! I write it up the night before, check it and work with it during the day, tick it off, and throw it away in the evening. Yay for ticks!