Over the past year or so I’ve been in the process of trying to find a way to better get things done. Between teaching, parenting, and adulting, I was finding it difficult to manage everything. It was particularly difficult to remember everything. Recognizing the problem is the first step, now a solution was needed.
I began by researching some of the systems out there that people use to help them get things done. I’ve read countless books and blogs, and listened to even more YouTube views and podcasts and I still wasn’t able to find something that worked for me.
So I began trying to come up with my own thing. I’m a fan of systems, just not ones that are complex or get in the way. I also need to have different systems for different needs. A single way of approaching vastly different problems doesn’t work. the challenges I face at school are different than those at home or for the personal goals that I have. I do know one thing though, I’m driven by accomplishing small tasks.
I have gone to a simple to-do list. I originally started with an app, since it’s always with me and I can easily add things and remove them as needed. But I didn’t find that apps stuck. Physically writing stuck. So I then turned my attention to what to write on. I started with normal paper, then grid paper, then a dot matrix, then a journal, then Post-Its, and so on. Eventually, I liked the size of a notecard, but a blank notecard doesn’t work. I don’t need a lot of structure, but I do need some. I looked around and didn’t like the structure provided by pre-made ones. I designed a few myself and printed them out. I was happy with the results, but the time and inability to print more than one at a time was a problem.
Eventually, I found these. They are simple, have enough structure but not too much. They also have checkboxes. I love checkboxes. I’ve found that I can come home from school, get started on my list, and get things done before the day is out. If I don’t get something done, it doesn’t get checked and can get done the next day. It’s simple and easy and it works for me.