Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How to Simplify with a Master To-Do List {Day 1}


You're wanting to simplify, but have no idea where to begin.  You thought the solution might be completely decluttering your home, but that was way too complicated, time consuming and let's face it, exhausting.  Believe it or not, the whole process starts with a list.  Yes, that's it.  So today I'm going to show you how to simplify your life with a to-do list.

Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to get accomplished? You've got this running list of tasks in your head only to have distractions pop up and now everything you've planned is out the window. Or even worse, you completely forget about something because you didn't write it down and now you're in a frantic rush to handle it...{sigh}  I know.  I've been there and it can be frustrating. 

Over the years I learned 2 tips that were crucial to beginning my simple living lifestyle...

          1) A Master Running List
          2) 7 Daily Do's

We'll talk more about the 7 Daily Do's tomorrow, but today I'd like to start you off with a Master Running List.

Why a Master Running List?

If you haven't noticed, I like lists...a LOT...and there's a reason. It declutters the mind and keeps me focused. If I see a visual of what needs to be accomplished, it helps to propel me forward. I used to make huge, long lists of everything in my life that was a "should-do," but quickly found them overwhelming and daunting. 

By keeping it simple and embracing the "do a little each day" approach used by my Mother and Grandmother, I was able to get back to the basics and accomplish more than I ever imagined. 

That huge list is still there, but it's just utilized in a different way.  I call it my Master Running List because it's an ever-changing list of to-do's that aren't in my normal everyday schedule. It's a compilation of all the stuff that's put on the back burner because it can't be completed in one day.

It's a place where I record that jumbled mess of clutter that I used to store in my head for later. Once everything's out of my head and onto paper, it can be used to create bite size tidbits of doable tasks.

How It Works...

This master running list will ebb and flow, but mostly in one direction.  Things will come off and things will go on, but our goal is to shrink that list instead of growing it (;  Once you have all those to-do's out of your head and down on paper, it will be easy to break them down into smaller to-do's.  

Here's an example:

Organize the house...um, okay.  That's a HUGE task.  Not something that could be completed in one day.  Break it down.  Create categories:  Kitchen, Garage, Office, Bathroom, Bedroom 1, Bedroom 2, etc.  Then under each of those categories, break down the tasks you'd like to accomplish...

Bedroom
Declutter closet (purge clothing, organize top shelf)
Clean out nightstand drawer
Clean out underneath the bed
Organize dresser drawers

Those tasks could be broken down even further if you like.  Suppose you decide to tackle the dresser drawers, but don't have enough time to organize all the drawers in one day....then your list would look like this:

Bedroom
Declutter closet (purge clothing, organize top shelf)
Clean out nightstand drawer
Clean out underneath the bed
Organize dresser drawer 1
Organize dresser drawer 2

Once things are broken up into smaller tasks, then you've got prime pickins (that's pickings without the "g" for all you non-southerners) for your 7 Daily Do's.  Below is a copy of my Master Running List...

When a task is completed, a cute little check goes in the box...and then I do a happy dance (;

Today's Challenge...

Today I'd like for you to create your own Master Running List.  Write down all the things you've been dreading and putting off for years...I want 'em on that list.  

Cleaning out the garage, organizing your closet, updating your website, making your homemade Christmas gifts, approaching clients with your new designs, rebranding your business ...I want you to write down ALL those to-do's that have been cluttering up your thoughts and causing you to feel unproductive.  

Then break them down into bite size tasks like we did above because we're going to utilize them tomorrow with our 7 Daily Do's.  The ultimate goal is to get rid of that "when I have an entire day to finish it" pile.  

Tools for the Journey...

To make it easier for you to get started, I've got a free printable for ya!! Download our Master Running List HERE and print as many as you like (;

Join Our Pinterest Group Board to Share Your Progress...

I've created a group board specifically for the 31 Days of Simple Living series. Each day I'll be pinning our posts along with other pins that relate to the daily challenge.

If you'd like to pin your progress or helpful posts related to the daily focus, email me and I'll be happy to add you to the group.  The neat thing about this new board is that it can provide a continual supply of encouragement even after the 31 Days is over.

You can also post your progress and questions below in the comments section and feel free to join us on Facebook and #31SimpleDays on Twitter.

Before you know it, these next 31 Days will give you a jump start to the simple life you crave.  Join us tomorrow as we take your Master Running List and incorporate it into our 7 Daily Do's.  See you tomorrow!

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Ÿ Intro              Ÿ Day 6             Ÿ Day 12           Ÿ Day 17           Ÿ Day 22           Ÿ Day 27
Ÿ Day 1             Ÿ Day 7             Ÿ Day 13           Ÿ Day 18           Ÿ Day 23           Ÿ Day 28
Ÿ Day 2             Ÿ Day 8             Ÿ Day 14           Ÿ Day 19           Ÿ Day 24           Ÿ Day 29
Ÿ Day 3             Ÿ Day 9             Ÿ Day 15           Ÿ Day 20           Ÿ Day 25           Ÿ Day 30
Ÿ Day 4             Ÿ Day 10           Ÿ Day 16           Ÿ Day 21           Ÿ Day 26           Ÿ Day 31
Ÿ Day 5             Ÿ Day 11           Ÿ Day 18           Ÿ Day 1             Ÿ Day 22            Ÿ Day33

In Gratitude,

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1 comment:

  1. Yeah... went ahead and printed a couple. Lots to list over here! Thanks so much, LOVE the printable!

    ReplyDelete

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