I’ve always been a to-do list kind of gal. There’s nothing quite like marking things off as they are accomplished – heck, I’ve even been known to write things down that I’ve already done just so I could have the satisfaction of drawing a line through it. A small victory of sorts. However, if I’m not careful, those super helpful to-do lists can become counterproductive.

Some of us tend to target the “easy” things on our list first because … well … they’re easy! No judgement, I do it too. However, there are these little (ok, BIG) things called priorities. It’s always been helpful to choose two to three big things that absolutely need to be accomplished – or at least worked on – each day and put those at the top of my list. That’s not to say I’m going to knock those out first, but they need to be looking at me with their beady-eyed, judgmental stares all day so that I’ll pay attention to them. I try to assign due dates for big projects (even though these timelines could change). I try not to be too hard on myself, but having a goal date of completion helps me know where to place these tasks on my list each day.

With priorities top-of-mind, I move on to listing other tasks I’d like to accomplish. Did you know that apparently 41% of to-do tasks are never completed? Well, I think it’s because those people make their lists too dang long! If I can give one good piece of advice it would be to try to limit the items on your list each day. The idea is to narrow in on the most important things so that your list doesn’t end up as long as a CVS receipt. Cramming anything and everything I can think of on the list only creates anxiety and leaves me feeling defeated at the end of the day. Breaking larger to-dos down into smaller to-dos makes things a little less overwhelming at times. You can choose to stick to any number of items; I usually limit mine to eight.

After listing all of my to-dos for the day, I also make a list of appointments and meetings. Since these are things that have to be done at specific time, I like to grab my phone and put in alarms that will go off at least 30 minutes before –a great reminder to wrap up whatever it is I’m working on. I may or may not need to set more than one alarm – I know some of you can relate. There’s nothing worse than that “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!” feeling (I hope you used your best White Rabbit voice from Alice in Wonderland when you read that).

I’m a firm believer having these two lists on the same page, working together, is very important for time management (I know, right. What is that?). Whether you’re choosing tasks based on how much time you have between meetings, trying to figure out how to get to your kid’s baseball practice in time, or simply trying to find a way to break up the monotony of your day, these lists definitely have to work in tandem.

Don’t forget about selfcare! To take care of others, start by taking care of yourself. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood or playing in the backyard with the dogs, be sure to do something in your day that provides a break and brings you joy.

With all of that to say, it was a no-brainer when adding the Daily To-Do Notepad and the ‘Best Day Yet’ 2021 Planner to the shop. Friends, these have literally been saving my bacon! They are perfect for goal setting and staying on track. I also like to have a journal around to jot down ideas, thoughts, etc. The Gratitude Gift Journal has provided me with a space for in-depth notes, a place to write down my favorite moments, pages to record inspirational quotes, and it’s compact so I can take it on the go. It brings me joy to be able to offer these helpful items to you. Can I get a “What What” from my to-do list lovers?!” I hope y’all’s year is off to a productive start!