What belongs on today's page? Which items are important enough to list?
I thought I'd give you a glimpse into today's to do list in my planner to help you think about what might work - and what might not work - for you.
I have two main to do lists on my daily or weekly spread - my daily list (to the left) and my weekly list (to the right in purple).
Daily To Do List
My daily to do list started to come together before today. That means the first two items were written earlier in the week or month.
In this case, I have to pay the lawn service every 10 days. Mr. Mike (a great guy who cuts our grass) has his name circled because once I pay him, I move the task forward 10 days. Because of that copy system, this task was ALREADY on this page when I opened the planner to today's daily spread.
TIP: Circle tasks that will repeat once they are completed, so that you remember to recopy/move them.
I also have a follow-up/pending item - @A:psych papers. That item was written on today's spread a couple of days ago, when I asked my husband (A) to copy a psych evaluation for my kid.
TIP: Write @ before a task to indicate that you are waiting on someone or something else before doing the task.
Fortunately, my husband already took care of the copies, so all I need to do is to check off and scratch out this task.
Let's talk about my other tasks.
Calling the pharmacy must happen this morning (hence the "am" to the left) because I need medicine refills by tomorrow.
TIP: Write "am" next to morning tasks and "pm" next to tasks that can only be done in the afternoon.
I have to clean the kitchen. Now, normally, housework is just a daily goal and NOT a part of my normal to do list. It gets handled when I check off my daily goals. But I have ants in the kitchen and sprayed last night, so I need to clean up the poison.
I must unpack from vacation today. I haven't since we got home on Tuesday (bad, I know) and I really need my hairbrush and some other essentials.
Sigh. Why don't I unpack right when I arrive home? I know better!
My husband needs some receipts and I have been putting off getting them out of the files. It's time to find them. Of course, as I write this, I realize that he can't do anything with them until work on Monday since it's a Friday, so I might move that task to Sunday. (The lazy is strong, y'all.)
I need to call a friend to babysit for Parent Back-to-School night. I need to do this today because if she can't babysit, I need time to find someone else.
I really need to clear my desk of papers. I have a couple of things due Monday, so I need to find them ASAP.
See how there are REASONS that things are on today's list? If it must be done today, there is a justification for it.
But what about things that just need to be done in the very near future (a week or so)?
Weekly To Do List
Tasks that are NOT very time-sensitive at all (maybe need to be done this month) go on my general tasks list, errands list, or phone/computer context lists.
But tasks that are NOT day-specific but must be done within the week go on my purple weekly task list.
I need to order my kid a new emergency bracelet, submit some insurance reimbursements, clean out school papers before school starts in early August, and pay my sister money owed.
None of those things must happen today. But my kid could have a seizure at any time, the insurance reimbursements do have deadlines, school starts soon, and I owe someone money.
Those are time-sensitive items, and therefore need to go on the weekly list.
TIP: If a weekly task continues to not get done, add it to your next daily list.
Categorizing tasks is not easy. It's a very individual decision and may be different for each person.
But I do hope that hearing about how I decide what must be done today helps you think about the decisions that you are making regarding to do lists.
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