Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Simplify Your To-Do List with the 7 Daily Do's {Day 2}

Yesterday we talked about how to create a Master To-Do List and today we want to build on that by incorporating the 7 Daily Do's.  We humans are creatures of habit, so it's important to make mindful intentions each day to keep us moving in the right direction.  We're wanting to keep things simple this month and so today's focus is how to simplify your to-do list with the 7 Daily Do's.

I struggled for the longest time with countless lists of unfinished projects.  I had good intentions, but wasn't really clear on what actually needed to be done.  Without clarity, we perish and so my organizing intentions were a flop!  I would make a list with VERY broad topics and then wondered why nothing was ever finished.

My Mom has always been a list maker and an awesome planner so she suggested breaking down those big projects into smaller steps. I'm a creative gal and sometimes have a challenge finishing things because I get so excited about the next big idea.  Henceforth, nothing is ever fully completed (;  I didn't think a small list would make much of a's just a smaller version of my big list that isn't getting done.  Oh boy was I wrong! Enter in the 7 Daily Do's...

What are the 7 Daily Do's?

The 7 Daily Do's is list of 7 tasks for the day that are in addition to your normal daily chores. They can be individual steps to complete a larger project, errands that aren't on your regular schedule, or a simple way to organize your routine if you aren't using a planner.  

I've found that a short list of 7 things seems to be the magic number. It's small enough so it doesn't overwhelm you, but yet not too small to make you feel unproductive.  In the Bible 7 represents rest and natural & divine completeness or perfection.  Hum...interesting.  I'm more restful because my tasks are getting completed which is perfect!! (;  I've tried to have a list of more than 7 and less than 7 and neither seems to work for me.  For some reason 7  seems to be the perfect balance. 

How to Use the 7 Daily Do's...

In my planner I keep two 7 Daily Do lists.  One for business and the other for my personal life. Each night I make a list of 7 tasks for the following day. As each one is completed, it gets marked off the list. This way I can clearly see what needs to be done and with each mark-off, a sense of accomplishment grows. 

This is where our Master To-Do List comes in...we're going to pull at least 2 things from our Master List to develope our 7 Daily Do's.  Of the 7 tasks for the day, include 4 things that are the most pressing and then 3 things that can be completed quickly.  I like to include quick tasks because if you start your day by getting a few things done right away, then that ball usually keeps rolling and you'll find that you accomplishments will grow.  Completion attracts completion (;

If all 7 tasks are done and there's still time left in the day, then I'll add one or two more, but only if everything on the list is completed. That way there's not an overwhelming daily list that never ends. If I don't complete all 7 things, no stress here...they simply carry over to be included as one of The 7 Daily Do's for tomorrow!

Works for Kids too!

We've found that this does wonders for kids too and is a great self directing tool.  Use it for their chores and projects or dreams and aspirations. When kids know what to expect, they thrive and confidence abounds.  Make sure to adjust the amount of daily do's based on the child's age and ability.  Remember this is a tool, not a stress creator (;  You may be surprised at how organized they become!

Today's Challenge...

Now, for today's challenge I'd like for you to get your Master Running List and create your first 7 Daily Do's list.  Again, we're creatures of habit so it may take some time to get used to the process.  Be kind to yourself, but keep at it.  After a while you'll begin to rely on those 7 Daily Do's and the peace in your home will increase.

Here are the steps...

          1) Try to pull at least 2 tasks from your Master Running List.
          2) Of the 7 Daily Do's, include 4 things that are the most pressing 
               and 3 things that can be completed quickly.
          3) If you complete all 7, feel free to add one or two more tasks
          4) If you only complete 2 tasks, then move the unfinished 5 to the 
               next day - no guilt here, because we're choosing to celebrate what 
               we have done.

Tools For the Journey...

What would a list tutorial be without a printable?  We wanted to make sure you had the tools to begin asap so I uploaded our 7 Daily Do's printable to get you started.  You can download it HERE.  

Each one is a little larger than an index card for ample room and there are 4 to a page.  Print as many as you like. I prefer to cut them out, leaving enough white space on the top to punch a couple of holes for metal hinged rings.  Voila!  Instant booklet (;  I also keep the back blank to jot down notes.

You'll also notice a section titled "Mindful Intention."  Staying motivated is key while we're making mindful choices, so we wanted to create a spot for daily inspiration.  Add a goal, Bible verse, quote, declaration or mantra.  Keeping your focus on a bigger vision encourages forward movement which means that simple living lifestyle won't be far behind.

So if you feel like life is a little bit out of control, staying organized and on target can be as easy as jotting down 7 simple tasks. Before you know it, all of those perpetual to-do's will be a thing of the past (;

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

I've set up 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 or #31Days on Twitter.

Come back tomorrow as discuss elements for a simply organized day (;  See you then!!

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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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