6 Reasons You Need A To-Do List

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My husband has been trying to convince me to keep a to-do list for quite a while.  I went kicking and screaming (not literally… promise!), because even though I’m definitely a paper kinda gal, making a list of the things that needed to be done seemed like a big fat waste of time that I could be using to actually get them accomplished.

And then I tried it.  I was wrong.  Oops.  You really do get more done – but that’s a spoiler, so here are six reasons that you should make a to-do list…

  1. We live in a busy culture. How much would you get done if every item in the grocery store was calling your name and demanding that you take it home with you?  You’d be overwhelmed and likely would have little to show for your shopping trip.  But that’s what a grocery list is for, am I right?  In the same way, our commitments and responsibilities scream at us – all competing for our full, undivided attention – and now!  By putting it on paper, you can see all that needs your attention without letting something important slip by.
  2. Determine what needs the most attention from you.  Isn’t it easy to get distracted in our cooks-in-thirty-seconds, three-hundred-friends-on-Facebook world?  By making a to-do list, I find that I can not only see what needs to be done, but it’s much easier to make a wise decision about the order in which I tackle my to-dos.  Time spent on something that’s not important or productive is not time well-spent.
  3. Maintain balance. My personality makes me prone to becoming super obsessive over a single issue, beating it to death, and then keeping going with it just to make. sure. you. get. the. point.  That makes it pretty easy for me to become unbalanced.  I have found that keeping a list can help keep you chipping away in an even fashion.  
  4. Paper, meet Brain Dump. Have you ever been been awake at 2 AM keeping a running tally of things that you have to do tomorrow?  Take a couple minutes here and there throughout your day and brain dump all of those things on your to-do list.  Brain dumping will help you be a calmer and more peaceful person. 
  5. Provide greater focus. A to-do list can help you see the big picture and help you to focus on the details that will help the big picture to be formed.
  6. Come back to reality. Make your list and then choose about three things that you will focus on accomplishing that day.  It is so much better to get just a couple things done thoroughly and well than to start ten different projects that flounder and find yourself wondering where you’ve gone.  This is going to be key to making this work for you.  Here’s a secret… Your list isn’t going anywhere.  What you don’t get done today will still be there tomorrow.

What is one thing you do to help keep you organized and on point?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Laurel West

Happy Wife. Mom of Three. Homemaker. Christ Follower. Multigenerational Texan. Chai Addict. Photographer. Health Nut. Natural Birth Junkie. Classically Trained Soprano. Founder of Adventures in Oiling. Amateur Graphic Designer.

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2 thoughts on “6 Reasons You Need A To-Do List

  1. Another great post. I am the opposite – I think I sometimes drive my husband crazy with all my different to-do lists, ha! We have an app on our phones that I use to organize a few lists and virtually “share” the lists with my hubby so he can see them and edit them if he wishes as well (Todoist App). Super helpful for things like the grocery list and adding things to the list on the go.

    I really appreciated what you said at the end about your to-do list still being there tomorrow. I regularly kick myself when I can see it on the list but haven’t accomplished it yet, so that was a great reminder!

  2. Good reminders…thanks! I’ve been using the idea of mind mapping for putting brain dumps on paper and for planning.

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