How To Organize Your Week
We love creating lists. Holiday lists, home organization lists, and that infamous to-do list. There’s something in our DNA that makes list building so addictive, even when it doesn’t work for us. As a mom, I admit to joining the whole to-do list bandwagon once I had kids. Every time my lists didn’t work for me, I blamed myself. Here’s the thing: there was nothing wrong with the list, but the way I was told to tackle it. We can’t create multiple lists, and vow to take care of one thing at a time. We need one list, one long list, that can help us focus on the most important items for the week. Here’s how that “long list” will work for you:
The Long List
When figuring out what to get done for the week, create a long list. This long list will include everything you can think of accomplishing during the week. No, you won’t break this list up into categories. No, you don’t need to do a separate list for housework, family items, personal goals, etc. Set a timer for 15 minutes, and brainstorm your list. This list may have really important items on it, like making doctors appointments, or mundane and simple items like mop the kitchen floor. Write down everything your brain thinks up. EVERYTHING. Be sure to stick to the 15 minute time frame.
15 Minutes Is The Secret
Why am I telling you to only give yourself 15 minutes to write your long list? Because your brain is smart enough to get you to write the most important and time-senitivie items as soon as it can. You won’t need more than 15 minutes to make your list, because the nagging items are already at the top of your mind and will get written immediately. One thing we constantly forget is how powerful our brains are. They know what they are doing; all we have to do is abide by the systems we put together for ourselves. Brains are smart, you guys. They’re the smartest things in your body! Heh.
Make A Short List
Once you have your long list completed, create your daily short list. Here’s the awesome part of your short list: you’re only going to list 3 things at a time. I use post-it notes to write my short lists, so I’m not tempted to write more than 3. Accomplish those 3 items for the day. They can be as random as you want. I actually quickly scan my list, and let my brain decide what I should tackle at that moment. It’s funny: the tasks I tackle tend to match my energy during that time of day. Again, my brain is pretty smart. Once you finish the 3 tasks, you are more than welcome to pick 3 more. The tasks must be completed in groups of 3, though. Don’t get one done, then add a new items. Finish all 3, then pick 3 more.
Why 3 Is Key
By completing 3 tasks at a time, you’re giving yourself small wins for each day. Let’s say your day is very hectic, and by the end of the day you’ve only accomplished 3 tasks. You’re still on the upswing, because YOU GOT 3 THINGS DONE. Some days, we get nothing done and wonder why. This gives you direction, and puts you on a path to being productive for the day. Some days you’ll get 3 tasks done and some days you’ll accomplish 12 or more. Either way, you’re a winner.
Begin Your Week With The List
The one thing I make sure to do is create my long list on Sunday night or Monday morning. During the weeks when I don’t do this, I get flustered, overwhelmed, and down about not using my week wisely. When I start my week off with the creation of my long list, I know I have a plan to take on the task at hand. I also spend less time doing un-important things. Those tedious things tend to be absent from my lists now. The tasks that mean the most to me and my family always end up on the list. Isn’t it funny how that happens? Thanks, smart brain.