Pen and Paper

I use To Do lists at work all the time. I have a list of every project or issue that I’m working on. My work To Do list is a combination of a list of projects that are in progress and actual tasks that I need to do. It can be overwhelming at times, but it helps me remain focused.

Throughout the week I check off tasks that are completed, update my notes on things that are delayed and add new items. Every Monday morning I review the previous week and create a new list. I may have to set things aside to deal with critical issues or new projects, but at least I’m organized when I am ready to pick up from where I left off.

I used to be organized and productive at home too, but when I returned to school in 2005, my approach to home life changed. When I wasn’t working or studying, I did just what was needed to get by; cooking, laundry, etc. I’ve been officially done with school for just over a month and had expected that by now I would have gotten rid of the clutter in my living room and kitchen, set up a little studio space somewhere in my house for when I feel like painting or being crafty, begun work on a painting I abandoned two years ago, and finished two books that I have half read.

Sure, the holidays happened (and for my family the holidays didn’t end until mid-January), but I’ve also been playing games until I’m beyond bored and watching shows on Netflix when I actually feel like being active. Heck, it has even been two weeks since I my last post (It’s a Post a Week challenge, not a Post When Ever You Get Around To It challenge).

It has become apparent to me that I really need to break the bad habits I formed while in school and become more disciplined. Now this isn’t to say that I’ve been ignoring my New Years resolutions, but I know I can do better.

I know. I’m rambling again.

What I’m getting to is that the way I approach things at work is completely different from how I approach them at home. Thinking through all of this helped me to realize that one simple thing can help me gain some momentum: A To Do list.

My approach will be similar to what I do at work. I’m listing my Resolutions (projects), along with the short term tasks that need to happen (Such as cleaning and rearranging/reorganizing the living room), and any other things that are going on that week (such as: games with friends Saturday).

Also, like at work, I’ll be preparing my To Do list in a pen and paper format. I know there are advantages to making a digital To Do list, but I’ve found that making my To Do list with using pen and paper helps me remember my list and helps me avoid the distraction that my computer can offer (look, StumpleUpon! ooh, shiny!).

Of course, it also takes some discipline to actually do what is on my list, but I don’t think that will be much of a problem.

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