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I am a lover of a to do list yet I am also a to do list rebel.
I make a to do list almost daily, and most days I get a significant amount of what is on it done BUT I don’t make my to do list at the same time of day most experts say to make it.
Time management experts will tell you to write out your to do list at night because it will clear your head and help you jump start your morning, knowing exactly what you need to do.
I tried making my list up at night, but as a woman who has a trouble winding down at night I found that making a to do list before bed only made me dwell on everything I had to get done the next day instead of putting it to rest. I found myself thinking, “well perhaps I should do …..before I go to bed so that I won’t have to face it tomorrow” or I think “I should do……first tomorrow”, and on and on it would go until I would look at the clock by my bed and realize I had lost an hour of sleep to thinking about tomorrow.
Eventually I gave up writing my to do list at night, and switched to spending that time reading a devotional (Jesus is Calling is what I am using this year and love it) and writing in my homemade gratitude journal (don’t have time to make one, Crystal Paine has one available on Amazon) . These things help me switch my brain off and fall into slumber.
When I wake up I write my to do list first thing. It takes discipline to write the list of what I have to get done first, since I am a early bird and wake up ready to go and to waste that energy on writing a list instead of hitting the first thing on my mind to do, seemed at first like a waste of prime energy hours. However, when I make myself sit down and take about 2 to 5 minutes to write a list of all the things I want to accomplish in the day ahead it some how seems to make more time in my day to get those things done.
I believe it is because in writing the list I am forced to take a good look at my day and that helps me visualize where to do what more efficiently. For instance, I might notice that my son has a soccer practice, and that means I will have 2 hours in a nearby town to kill, looking at my list of blogging things I need to get done I realize this is the perfect time to hide out at a restaurant with free wi-fi near the soccer fields and work on a post. I might also notice that it is going to be a busy day and if I want to workout I best do it first thing, or that I am going to be out of the house during dinner hours so I need to ask one of my teenagers to cook dinner for us.
When I think all this sort of stuff out at night it stresses me out but when I do it first thing in the morning it makes me feel empowered to take on my day.
When do you write your to do list? And are you a paper list writer or an app user?
Curious about the Goals For Today grid seen in the picture above? It is available as a free printable over on this post about how I plan out my days. I have changed how I used it recently but still love it. Right now I use one square for appointments, one for chores, one for blog work and one for a verse that I found in my morning quiet time that I want to reflect on during the day.
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