No matter how crazy my world seems to get one of the things that keeps me balanced and somewhat grounded are my daily checklists. I know it’s geeky and OCD and all that, but the structure of having a set list of tasks to accomplish one after the other makes my seemingly unmanageable life more manageable.
I use an app on my iPhone and iPad called Paperless to make and organize my list, well lists. I use multiple lists: a daily list for each day of the week, a list (actually 3 separate lists) of my bills, a list of calls I have to make, a list of the stuff I need to do on the computer, a list of the errands I need to run, a list of the projects I’m working on, a list of the school stuff I have coming due, and a catchall list for at the other stuff I have to take care of.
I keep standard items that occur everyday on the daily lists, as well as items tied to a scheduled day of the week (my dad’s dialysis treatments are every Monday, Wednesday & Friday so they are always listed on those days). I flesh out the rest of my daily schedule each night before bed from the other lists. It usually takes me about 10 minutes to reset the list I used that day and set up my list for tomorrow.
I know this system won’t work for everyone, but it certainly helps me. It took me a long time to get to the place where not getting to everything on my list doesn’t mess with my head, but because the list system I use has a counting function when I look at the number of things I managed to get done it somehow makes not finishing everything easier to take in stride. I also have to make sure I include time to decompress in my day to day life, so I always include at least one item from my projects list and some reading time.