There is something magical about seeing something written in print. There is always a good feeling about writing —be it your new moleskin, a new pen or if you are a blessed soul, a wonderful handwriting. That’s perhaps the reason people value hand-written notes and letters more than they value emails. Now that hand-written anything has almost become a thing of the past, people have started appreciating its beauty. Also, if you’ve happened to read any productivity hacks or quick tips on being organised, they all state the one thing our school teachers always insisted on.
“Write it down”
Writing something down has been the age old way and perhaps the best way of learning something. Our brains retain information better when we write them down rather than just holding them in our minds. And that is why when there are tasks to do, people ask you to write it down so that you don’t forget anything or have to worry about remembering everything every now and then.
A list a day, keeps your pending tasks at bay!
A few years back my mom left me in charge of our home and went abroad. That was probably the first and only time in my life I wished we were in an apartment and not in an independent house. There are a lot of responsibilities when it comes to an independent house and I had no idea how I was going to manage them for the few months my mom was going to be away. I knew that I would have to stay organised and work with a plan, because I knew for the fact that taking care of our home was not as easy as how mom made it seem. I also knew that the more I spent planning and coming up with a plan, the less I would have to worry later. And that was true!
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To avoid the trouble of having to remember every little thing about the house, I wrote everything down. I made lists using sticky notes and stuck them all over the place - On my fridge and my doors and anywhere I could find space to stick them. This way, whenever I stepped out of the kitchen I would just have to make an entry in one of the stickies or check if everything on the list was taken care of. I tried concentrating on one thing at a time and that was really helpful for me.
For instance, I had the following lists on my stickies-
- Things to buy - groceries as and when they got over
- Things to check every day - Availability of bread, chapatti, milk and curd
- Things to prepare - Coffee decoction, Chapatti dough, new side dishes for Chapatti, Curd etc.
- Things to check before stepping out- Turn off gas knob, switching off the motor/AC/Heater, Keep trash downstairs, Master keys and so on.
This made my life so much easier. I did not have to burden my mind trying to remember every little thing. Surprised by how things worked well I decided to extend it to other spheres of my life. I tried recollecting the many instances where I’ve had to wrack my brains trying to remember something that I had made a conscious note of. With that idea, I started making lists for everything.
I started with simple Todo Lists. And then I went on to add a Todo Today, Todo Weekend and a Todo Later list. And then the lists went on and on so much that I had to make a master list. If you promise not to judge me (Oh wait, I’m not really particular about that, please go ahead and feel free to judge me :-)), I’ll give you a sneak-peak into my Master Todo List
- Restaurants to visit
- Ideas to write
- Books to read/Article links to read
- Food Experiments (to cook and eat)
- Shopping Lists (Separate ones for groceries, apparels and cosmetics)
- Todo Today Todo This week, Todo Someday
I hope you get the drift :-)
I don’t sit and make a list of everything. I just keep adding items to the list as and when something crosses my mind. This might be an old school way of getting things done, but as long as I get work done, I’m happy. There is some unparalleled contentment about checking off all your action items in your list. That feeling is just priceless :-). You have to experience it to appreciate it.
So do you have the habit of maintaining a Todo List? What does that look like?