I have found a pretty helpful way to track my to do list. Prior to this system I always had to find the perfect app, and I needed to be all high tech and what not. This would lead to other standards, such as needing a cloud data service that can syn across my phone and computers, and for the organizational system to be intuitive yet highly customizeable. Needless to say, such an app with all of my requirements simply doesn’t exist, I am too picky. After talking to my mother I’ve simply adapted what I do to work with her system.
This to do list is simple and nothing special really. Everyday write down your to do list in a checklist format. Cross each item off as you go. Personally I don’t make the list in order of what I want to accomplish first as I often find myself not wanting to start on my first item and then my day just goes to hell. By the end of the day hopefully you’ll have checked off a hearty number or some heavy work tasks. Do not get upset if you did not get all of them done in one day. It’s easy to underestimate how much time and energy you spend on a task. As long as you completed anything that has a deadline for the day, set aside your list and relax or end your day.
The next day comes around, look at your list from yesterday. Anything you did not complete, copy it over to today’s to do list. A simple way to approach your list system and honestly it’s nothing new. This paper system essentially the same exact thing a phone app would work. The benefit to note is that when you write thing down, it’s easier to remember. It also takes slightly more time to write things down, and with a good attitude you have more time to process your list and convince yourself not to look at every task all at once so you don’t get overwhelmed. Crossing off an item on your list is so much more satisfying on paper, dare I say an orgasm in your fingertips? I use a highlighter so I can still read what I crossed off and apparently blue has some kind of euphoric affect in our brains.
In terms of what to write your list on, I’d recommend a journal. You can easily go back to previous days and see what all you have accomplished or may have forgotten to work on. Also you can see reoccurring patterns of procrastination. Hell, this is paper people, if your emotional, journal a little bit, maybe write some expletives all over the paper if you’re pissed off. Not ready to get started on a task? Doodle for a set amount of time to help get your mind off of things. Breaks are important, just be sure to give yourself some restrictions so you can get back to work.