Start with what you know

I’d been a manager of clients, projects and people for more than 18 years at work, and I had learned how to use tools to keep me organized. The first was a To Do List, which I mentioned earlier was growing quickly. The second was a calendar where I kept appointments. So far, so good. But not enough.

My burning desire was and is to have a close-knit family. I want each of us to be healthy, safe and wise. It would also be nice if everyone would pick up after themselves, do the dishes and their own laundry, study hard at school, get a job during the summer, exercise daily, eat home-cooked meals, save enough for retirement, go to bed on time, live a principle-centered life…my wish list was endless.

Thank goodness I found Marcia Garcia at GetOrganizedNow.com. She advocated keeping a Master To Do List. And chunking projects to work on a little each day. And to get rid of two bags of things each month (from a reader’s shared idea.) And lots of other organizing activities that made a BIG difference in our lives. However, the first idea that had a huge impact was the Master To Do List.

I find it demoralizing to copy To Do Lists over and over because it wastes time and just magnifies what I haven’t gotten done. Instead of just one list, Marcia suggests keeping your Master To Do List grouped by type. For example, my Master To Do List started out being categorized by phone calls, errands, correspondence, projects and miscellaneous tasks sections. Every week I picked a few entries from the Master List to complete during my week, printed it and carried it in my wallet. As I thought of new things to do or made appointments, I would jot them down on this list. Here is the template for my former Weekly To Do List:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=phone+calls&ex=1#ai:TC010076006|

This approach worked for me for about a year. Until…

Aloha, Auntie Lynn

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