Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

TO DO it Right

by Teresa Riccobuono of San Francisco Bay Area's Simply Organized.

Have you ever taken the time to wonder why your to do list seems to grow? Why is it you can't seem to ever accomplish all the things you would like? Have you ever put an entry on your to do list that says, ”Spend one hour today determining why my to do list continues to be incomplete at the end of each day“?

As a professional organizer I have analyzed how people plan their day. Based on my observations it's no wonder the majority of people carry over to dos from today to tomorrow and then the next day and so on. When most people create their to do list, they write things down as they think of them with no rhyme or reason to the task at hand. How much more effective would you be if you grouped or bundled items on your to do list together by task?

To illustrate, let's take a look at a typical list put together in order by what comes to mind:


Now, let's look at grouping the same list of TO DOs by task:


People to Call


Places to Go

Just by consolidating your to dos by task you have a much clearer picture of what you have to do and where you need to go. On the task-based list, I have included specific information to help me to be more efficient, such as what denomination of stamps I need to order, what are the dates I will be at the conference so I can schedule travel arrangements accordingly. And, if I were to end up on hold, I could look to my Computer List to see if there was something I could tackle while listening to hold music. For instance, I could get the directions to David's office.

Even if you were to save just 10 minutes a day, that's about an hour a week, 52 hours a year or approximately 2 full days.  Now, what can you do with an extra 10 minutes?

At Home:

At the Office:


If you implement this process and still find you have to transfer several items from today to tomorrow, it is quite possible that you have inappropriate expectations of how long it takes to complete a particular task.

Pay attention to when this happens. Was there an unexpected emergency that you had to handle personally? Were you feeling under the weather? Or, were there just too many things on the list?   If it happens only occasionally, then you are probably being realistic with your time.  If the need to carry over from day to day occurs regularly then you are trying to accomplish too much.

If you try this idea for a month and it still doesn't seem to be working for you, then go back to the item on your TO DO list that says, go to www.simplyorganized.com and give me a call or send me an e-mail. I would be glad to help you be more efficient.

Teresa Riccobuono of Simply Organized [2] has been organizing homes and businesses for the past 25 years.  Simply Organized can help you organize your home or office, room by room, closet by closet, and drawer by drawer.  They use organizing tools and techniques designed specifically for you.  Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Simply Organized can help you with meal planning, wardrobe planning and everything in between.  Check them out at www.simplyorganized.com [3]

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