To-do lists are never finished.
Where does your list reside? In your head or on paper?
I know too many women who allow their to-do list to swirl around in their heads.
Even if some of the list is dedicated to paper, it’s not common for a woman to ensure every last thing is dedicated to paper.
It’s the swirl in your head that creates stress.
Let’s think about this. Look at all of the areas of our lives that need attention. I’m going to list the ten areas that I encourage women to look at as they assess their satisfaction in life and as they plan their activities and to-do’s in their life.
Only by looking closely at all of the areas of your life can you be ensured of having a comprehensive Master To-Do List.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t run my life without this list.
Ten Areas of Life
Here are ten areas of life you can consider as you create your own Master To-Do List. And, of course, feel free to add your own.
- Your relationship with your spouse or significant other (if you have one). Using this as an example before I share more of the list, what one or two things come to mind that are swirling around in your head? “We need to spend more time together, just the two of us.” Bam! There you have it, your first to-do that is likely swirling in your head. 1. Plan a monthly date night. Or another that could be percolating is 2. Schedule a meeting to talk about our financial state of affairs.
- Your role as a mom (if you are one). What do you have for that? 3. Schedule one-on-one time each month with each of my kids. 4. Create a better structure for the kids to share in chores around the house. 5. Schedule a monthly family meeting so we can talk about what is going well for us as a family.
- Taking care of your home and space (what does THAT to-do list look like?) You see, before I continue further, this list alone can be significant. And, it’s not so much that you’re writing down your to-do list for today or for this week as it is that you are writing down EVERY.SINGLE. THING. around your home and space that you want to give attention to EVER. This is why we call it the Master To-Do List. 6. Clean out all of the drawers, cupboards and closets over the next six months. One drawer per day; one closet per week. 7. Paint the guest bedroom. 8. Clean out the landscape beds. 9. Declutter the basement and take things to Goodwill. 9. Remodel the main bathroom. I like the bathroom example. It’s on my list, yet I don’t plan to tackle the project for two or three years. It’s on the list, because it’s in my head. 10. Replace the windows in the house, four per year. If you’re like me, the home and space list is significant. Make it a running list!
- Your fitness and health. In this example, you may likely broach the area of recurring appointments with yourself on the calendar. 11. Schedule a workout every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday). From a health perspective, you can add to dos to your list like… 12. Drink 128 ounces of water every day.” 13. Only eat ice cream on Saturday. These are to dos.
- Your hobbies and interests. If you don’t have one, your list could include something like 14. Do research to decide on a hobby I’d like to pursue. Or 15. Schedule a cake decorating class.
- Your joy, peace and contentment. Yes, this is a thing. What can you weave into your to-do list to calm yourself down, to be more grateful? 16. Write in a journal every day, three things I’m grateful for. 17. Take a 15-minute walk every day without listening to music. 18. Go on one weekend vacation, just myself.
- Your work and professional life. For purposes of this blog post, I am leaning toward your Master To-Do list on the personal side of your life. You can replicate this same approach at work, maintaining a Master To-Do List at all times. This would seep onto your personal list if you were considering a job change or up leveling your skills. 19. Research career changes for women over 50 (yes, that’s a thing!) or 20. Schedule a meeting with a career coach. 21. Upgrade my wardrobe by buying three new pieces each month.
- Friends. Find me a woman who has enough time with her girlfriends. What do you want to do to nurture your friendships? 22. Schedule two girlfriend wine chats each month. 23. Mail two snail mail cards per month to my out-of-town girlfriends. 24. Schedule an annual girls’ trip
- Family. Are you spending enough time or remaining connected enough to your extended family? What is swirling around in your head? 25. Visit my parents once a quarter. 26. Schedule a niece’s weekend once a year. 27. Send birthday cards to my brothers and sisters. 28. Which means, I need to make sure I have all of the birthdays on my calendar.
- Finances. Finances can get away from us if we are not intentional about them. 29. Create a spreadsheet with all of my credit cards that have a balance. 30. Create a get-out-of-debt plan. 31. Pay bills on the second Saturday of every month. Schedule this on my calendar.
Oh! So, one of your to-do list items needs to be 32. Create my Master To-Do List. 😊
Okay, you have your Master To-Do List! Now what?
This list becomes your feeder list for your daily, weekly and monthly to-do lists.
- At the start of every month: What ONE big project do I want to tackle this month? I would estimate this to be a four to eight-hour undertaking. This timeframe is a guage.
- At the start of every week: What ONE substantial project do I want to tackle this week? You might think of this as something that will take you one to four hours. Again, another guage. You can determine your timeframes.
- At the start of every day: What ONE not-so-big task do I want to accomplish by the end of the day? This is going to be something that is in the 15 to 60-minute timeframe.
A Master To -Do List will help ensure steady progress over time.
Keep this idea in your mind: Just do one thing!
If you are prone to coming home at the end of the day, exhausted and without energy to do things, this mindset may help you. “I can relax as soon as I do this one thing.
Okay! Get busy.
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