I once worked with someone who used to constantly scribble memos for herself on sticky notes: her desk was a jumble of crumpled scraps of paper. I preferred my single daily list that was taped to the front of the planner
I carried with me throughout the day. Now, I have to confess, I too have notes on scraps of paper throughout my home.
I know, I should consolidate and keep all my notes in the one ‘bucket’, but when I think of something I must remember, I don’t always have my planner with me. I could be trying to get to sleep at night, I could be at the shops, or in the middle of cooking dinner when I think of something.
I think there are two types of people in this world: those who write lists and those who can keep it all in their heads. I am definitely the former. And I like paper, the good quality stuff, and pens that write well. No smart phone apps for me.
When you write a list- even just a list of errands to do at the shops, it reinforces the important things in your mind. It helps you remember, and prioritise your time by doing the important things first. You know the Pareto 80:20 Principle? Well, if you start your day with a list, you can spend 20 percent of your time doing the things that will make the biggest impact.
For me, writing lists is also a form of brainstorming. I often come up with my best ideas when I have a pen in my hand. The list becomes a plan; and planning leads to success.
When you are at home with children, your days lose all their structure, and each day begins to feel the same. I never really feel like I am accomplishing much, because whenever I start a task, invariably my children will need my help and I have to abandon it to go to them. So I’ve developed a night-time ritual that helps me feel a little more productive.
Once the children are in bed, I sit down, clear my desk, and I write out a list of things to do for the next day. Sometimes I’m just too tired, and I just rely on the previous day’s list, but it does help to begin each new day with a fresh list of priorities. I keep it on display so I can refer to it as soon as I have a chance the next morning. It’s a simple thing, but it’s made a big difference to me.
- Organised Habit #2: carry a notebook and pen
- Organised Habit #3: keep a Phone Calls log
- Organised Habit #4: leave yourself a starting point
- Organised Habit #5: keep a stack of blank cards
For more ideas on how to capture your ideas before you forget them, see this post:
And for more inspiration to get organised, see my Organisation pinboard.