How to Write a “To Do List” You’ll Actually Use
With all the talk this week of organizing and planning for the new school year, You are likely thinking about all of the things you need to get done by the time students arrive on the first day.
Today I want to share my method of “To Do List” creation to help you organize your Back to School tasks. It seems so simple, but the way you organize your list (and the fact that you can actually locate your list and take action up on the items on the list) can really increase your productivity and even make you feel like you have it all under control (even if you don’t!- and who does!?)
My first recommendation would be to start with a master “To Do” list you keep in one place, with categories that fit your individual needs. I update my master list each week, transferring over any items that didn’t get finished that week to the new list. I’ve hand written or typed these lists, it really doesn’t matter. Here is a sample of a typical school week’s list (only usually I have more items but I didn’t want to bore you with them).
I also make a similar type of list at home for my personal items, categorized into things like cleaning/organizing, meals and cooking and bills to pay (you know, things we all deal with on a regular basis in addition to working full time jobs). This past week I’ve felt really disorganized and I realized why. I forgot to make my master list! For some reason I hadn’t created a new one this week and I felt lost. Because my head is not always the most reliable, I need to write everything down. So apparently I need to put “Make a new List” on my To Do List. Confused yet?
Each morning I go ahead and transfer 3 items from the big list into my small list on a sticky note. Those are the things I need to/ want to accomplish that day. Then, they get crossed off the big list and the sticky gets tossed. Anything in addition to those items I consider “bonus” for that day.
This method works for me because it breaks down all of my tasks into manageable chunks and prevents me from feeling too overwhelmed. If I look at the big list too often, I will get really overwhelmed. Sometimes I hide it. Seriously. But it helps.
So, maybe you think I am nuts and have a simple iPhone App that helps you keep your list handy. If so, please share. I’ve tried several Apps but they have not worked as well as the system I’ve just explained. To each their own!
Share with us how you organize your To Do List!
Any good productivity apps out there you are hooked on?
Pssst. If you thought all the Back to School resources were done, you were WRONG! Come back next week where the talk will be all about Classroom Management, setting up your expectations and procedures, controlling the chaos and noise, and engaging kids from the get go. We want you to have a successful year in the art room. You won’t want to miss it! Plus, we have a really cool giveaway (maybe I’ve said to much. wink.) to help you manage your classroom. The whole AOE Team is pumped so don’t forget to log on! See you then.