Why you must have a to do list

There is always tomorrow.  I don’t have time today (I do, I just don’t want to be bothered with this, not right now. I have more fun things to do).

 I am guilty of procrastination, of doing what I want today, not what I have to do. And I am guessing many of you are as well. It is so easy to put it off until tomorrow.

The problem of course is that there is always a tomorrow and putting off small things (what you think are small) pile up. And the pile is not the problem. That’s right, that now towering pile of things you meant to get to, but saved for tomorrow, is not the problem.

The problem is the unforeseen; a major event that suddenly strikes like lightning, but unlike lightning is not momentary, but stays, consuming your time.  Maybe a loved one’s illness, maybe urgent needs from your child, and now you find yourself being more of a care giver. Or maybe it is something that happens to you and your health.

It does not have to be health related. Maybe you got fired, maybe you have to move. Perhaps a divorce. There are a myriad of unseen catastrophic events that can and will find you at some time in your life. Then you are buried under an avalanche of those ‘small things’ and it is hard to catch up.

If you have a pile of tomorrows, then get it done now. Clear your chore list while you have the time because tomorrow you may not have that time. Also you will feel better for accomplishing things, even if they were not so important.

Find the ones easiest to do or won’t take much time. Make a To Do List and work through it checking off each item on the list when it is finished.

This is especially true for writers as finding time for writing is precious time and with a completed list, or a downsized list, you find more time for writing. And if you are a writer, write first, small things later, but later today.

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The Dark Side of Being Organized

I recently downloaded an app that I thought would help me be better organized. Instead of writing Post-Its or making notations in a notebook near my keyboard, using scraps of paper, paper towels, or toilet tissue, I could put everything on this very organized app. I am going to tell you how it works, what I did, and how it created a dark side.

The app is called Get it Done and it is very helpful. There is an inbox, a today file, a next, a scheduled and a someday file. There is also a projects list where you can add and edit projects. You can do the same for something called Smart Groups. I have no idea what this is, but it is there. You can also add and edit people (if it were only that easy).

Keep in mind that this app is free, though there are certain functions for which you need to register and pay $39 per year. But for my needs the free features work quite well, thank you.

I have two items in my inbox. One will remain as it is a reminder of something I need to focus on each day, the other concerns upcoming events.  I have five items in my today function, one for today and the others for upcoming days. What I need to do, where to go, appointments; a daily calendar. I have 12 items in my someday file, though that could be in the projects folder as it has do to with my writing plans, projects I am working on and upcoming projects. So I may move it to that location.

Now keep in mind I had to set all this up, deciding what I needed to focus on, how I want it arranged and then typing in all my notes and so on. Upon completion my desk was clear and my life was organized in my cute little app. However, it took so long for me to organize my organizer that I had no time to write the blog I intended to write.

I also went to a book sale the next day and though I only bought nine books, in order to better organize things I had to spend three hours reorganizing my room in order to make my book case and shelves better organized, putting in alphabetical order all my unread books-now over 300 including e-Books-by size, alphabetized in three sections; hardback, trade, and paperback. All tidy, pretty, and organized. The problem of course is that I had no time to write my blog for the second consecutive day.

As you can tell, being organized is time consuming and leaves little time to get done what is on your list. I had to forego the blog I intended to write as I thought I should warn you about the dark side of being organized. It isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

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