5 Ds: Taming An Overwhelming Task List In Your Planner | Giftie Etcetera: 5 Ds: Taming An Overwhelming Task List In Your Planner

Monday, January 27, 2014

5 Ds: Taming An Overwhelming Task List In Your Planner

Does your task list look like this?

Yes, that's my current reality.

When your task list gets overwhelming (or, you know, exceeds an entire hot list), there are many ways to get it under control.

1. Done. First, scratch out any tasks that you've actually completed. If you've been that busy, there are probably one or two that can be scratched off.

In my case, I was able to scratch off a note to write a brief letter to the auction committee. The letter was done, but I never got around to scratching it off the list.

2. Delete. Next, delete anything that is past due or really has no serious consequences if you cancel. There are things that you meant to do or wanted to do that didn't get done. Maybe those are worth deleting.

My kid's pen pal is just not getting a letter this month, especially since they are about to move and their address will change before we get around to sending one. I'll add that back to the list when they get to their new home. Arranging t
wo play dates also went off the list. We are just slammed and don't have time in the next couple of weeks.

I was also able to delete a duplicate entry on my task list. Yes, that's right. My list was so long that I had written a task on it twice.

3. Delegate. Make some tasks someone else's problem.

My husband promised to put the new registration sticker on my car by January 31st. I can scratch that off my list, especially now that this public shaming is sure to make him do it, right?

4. Defer. Some things can and should be put off. 

I have a gift for my mother-in-law that she left at my house after Christmas and I won't see her until March. I am planning a couple of trips, but it's really too early to buy plane tickets, in case plans change. And my April planner pages don't have to be added to my planner until the end of February.

A lot of these deferrals went on my February or March task lists.

The rest went to my Someday/Maybe list.

5. Dedicate. Dedicate to doing things that really should have been done already or should be done this week, based either on due dates or importance.

For me, that meant adding paying my mom some money that I owed (we went in together on a wedding gift) when I see her on Tuesday.

Once you've done the 5 Ds, you can rewrite the remaining items on a new hot list.

I keep mine on my household sheet between my weekly pages.

Don't forget to highlight due dates.

That's it. My list went from 24 items to 10 items. 10 items is doable!

BONUS: Gratuitous picture of my seven year old helping his little brother clean their bathroom. It's their new Sunday chore. I taught them how to do it, step-by-step, yesterday. (Saturdays are for cleaning any mess in their rooms, dusting, and vacuuming.) See the smile?



Anonymous said...

Hrm, where is this sticker you speak of? - Odin

Giftie Etcetera said...

If my planner waiting for you...HUSBAND!

Erin said...

Ok so my sons are 4 and 6. How do I get them to start "not chores" and your pick up system? Any ideas?

Giftie Etcetera said...

Go to the linked post, but also, they don't get fun until chores are done. (See how that rhymes?) I don't make a big deal and I don't fuss. I go on with (preferably very pleasant-looking) parts of my life - watching tv, dancing, singing, drawing, computering - and remind them, once an hour or so, that they too can have fun, if they do their chores. I remind them with a great big smile!!!

I also make a big deal about what a help it is when they do their chores!

Judy said...

I truly enjoy your blog - even though I am retired and my to do list is very short. Although, I do get quite busy with sewing for others and making gifts. I do need to keep a list for to dos for this reason alone with dates.


PS Your son's smile is a photo worth framing.

pattygardner.com said...

You and I think alike! Not only have I done all those steps, but I also occasionally write things on my list twice. Maybe that means I should double my efforts to get it done! :)