I love making lists. I love to cross completed items off my lists. I will actually add completed items just so I can cross them off. However, you can have too much of a good thing, and I may have reached that point with my To Do lists.
I thought I knew where all my To Do lists were, but while putting finishing touches on the basement last weekend, I uncovered four lists that had gotten lost when I moved the home office to the basement. A list usually reduces my stress level (written down = not forgotten), but finding four extra lists just made me think, “Ugh, more to do that I didn’t have in front of me”.
This made me take a step back and think about how I manage my personal life To Do’s. Walking through my house today I realized I have 18 To Do lists. They range in subject matter: home, baby, money, long-term projects, short-term projects, items just for me, items for J and I, a combination of the above. Even for someone who loves a good list, 18 To Do lists is too many.
In my work life, I always have four lists. They are usually under control because there is only one master To Do list and all others are a subset – monthly, weekly, and daily To Do’s. The master list gets updated as projects progress, so I always know where items stand. While this might seem cumbersome, it has worked well for me.
I often tell clients to use what works for them; I need to take my own advice. Why not try to apply my work system to my personal life? It is time to give my personal life To Do system a little TLC and invest the disciple and time in managing my personal life that I do in managing my work life.
I’m about to add the Little Guy’s To Do’s to the mix, so the timing on adjusting my system might be a little off. Or maybe the timing is perfect…things are going to get crazy anyway. Time, and how many To Do lists I have, will tell.