Is it just me or does everyday seem like it whizzes by without getting enough done?
I’ve tried a load of different ways to stay on top of my to do list. In the end I’ve realised that nothing beats good ol’ pen and paper. Apps are handy but they mean going to my phone and with that comes temptation and distraction, especially in the form of facebook. With paper, I have it in front of me and can see it all the time without needing to log on to anything.
Writing down lists is proven to make you more productive and the act of physically writing it down helps you remember what you need to do. It also helps focus your mind each week on what needs to be done. So I’ve created a free printable to do list that I use and I’m sharing it here – you can download it below. I read somewhere that a better name for a ‘to do’ list is an ‘I can’ list and ever since then I prefer to call it an ‘I can’ list because it feels like I’m choosing to do rather than I have to do. And I am choosing to do all these things so it feels like a better choice of words.
We all have some goals that can be big and vague. Unless we break them down in to tiny, baby steps, they will always seem too overwhelming. That’s where to do lists really help. It’s the small daily steps that will help you achieve your big goals.
I’ve also found that writing down the top 3 most important (not urgent) tasks for the week, keeps me focused too. These are the 3 things that I must do each week to get that little bit closer to my bigger goals. They’re the important tasks and not the urgent ones as the urgent ones will always get done. Having a place to write this down forces me to consider my bigger objectives each week and really helps me stay on track to achieve these.
My weekly routine is getting up early every Monday morning and planning my week. Many people prefer to do this on a Sunday evening but that hasn’t worked as well for me. Once I have my to do’s written down on my sheet, I take an extra 10 minutes to schedule these tasks in to a paper diary. Scheduling has helped me SO much and has also shown me that everything takes far longer than I imagined. Scheduling is a topic for another day but my starting point each week is always my ‘I can’ list.
This free printable to do list is a bit smaller then A5 so you can comfortably fit two of them on a A4 sheet. I added a notes bit as I found it a handy place to write down any meetings or plans I have so I know that I need to block out that chunk of time.
I’ve found that I prefer to have a separate sheet for my personal and work tasks but you may find that you prefer to write everything on one sheet. So each week I print off two sheets and get writing all that I need to do. Of course things change as the week progresses and that’s totally fine. The idea here isn’t to write everything down and treat it as if it’s set in stone but it acts more as a guideline and way to focus your mind. You can always add and change tasks as your week progresses.
As I’ve mentioned before I follow the 90 day year method. So every 90 days or at the end/start of each quarter I like to share a free printable that will help you and me stay on track with our goals. I’ve shared some free printable bookmarks before and this quarter I am sharing these to do lists.
How do you stay on top of your daily tasks? Please do share any tips you have and don’t forget to download this free printable to do list above or below.