create a to-do simple to-do list

When it comes to actually getting work done, my focus can be rather sporadic sometimes.

That’s why I really need to create simple to-do lists often.

I attribute it to #mombrain, because I have about 1/8 of my brain with two children compared to when I was a young single living the dream with little to no responsibility. I will often start answering emails, and then something else I need to do pops into my head and I completely lose focus and jump to another task (that’s how this blog post was made!). When I am about half way through that new task, a completely new to-do pops in my head.

It’s really hard not to stray and just start doing something else. It’s like that movie “Up,” where the dog is talking the old man and then gets completely distracted by the “SQUIRREL!” That right there ladies is a pure example of #momlife.

It really takes mental discipline to stay focused.

Over the years, I have read many articles and books about successful people, and one of main things most of them in common is the importance of creating a to-do list first thing in the morning. Now let’s be honest here, I don’t really create one everyday, but when I really need to push through something on a tight timeline it helps immensely.

Sometimes though, when I feel like I have SO much to do, it can be difficult to prioritize how to write my list! As in I get distracted writing my list because I can’t keep my focus due to all of the “squirrels” running around in my mind. So I need a little bit of planning to thoroughly make my list.

When I create simple lists, I usually like to use a spreadsheet program like Excel or Google Sheets so you can cut and paste things. I am also a big fan of literally writing things down too if I’m in a hurry, but I think you can stay a little bit more organized and not re-write as many things when you use the spreadsheets. There are also other apps out there, like Trello, where you can do some similar things and really organize long-term goals and ideas too. You really have to figure out what works best for you though.

How I Write My To-Do Lists

Step 1: Make BIG categories (I.e. Personal To-Dos, Marketing To-Dos, House To-Dos, Moving To-Dos, Administration To-Dos, Etc.).

Step 2: Set timelines. Under big categories, create “Now,” “Soon” and “Later” categories.

Step 3: To-do list vomit. Literally write all the to-dos down that are filling your brain at the moment. Get them out of your head and in a spreadsheet or on paper under the applicable category. Create a new category if you don’t think it fits with anything, or place it in a “miscellaneous” category. Literally, write down everything (i.e. Marketing: Schedule Instagram posts for April; House: Clean the bathrooms).

Step 4: Breath. How much better do you feel right now? All of your to-dos are written down, yay! But now you have A LOT of stuff to do.

Step 5: Prioritize what needs to be completed first. When I do this on paper, I usually put a star down next to it if it needs to be done ASAP or that day. If I use a spreadsheet, I will color code it in some way. Just find a system that works for you.

Step 6: Cross off completed tasks. When you see a whole bunch of stuff crossed off, you will actually be really impressed that you were able to accomplish so much.

You can design these lists for what you need to complete in a day, week, month or even years. It’s really all that you make of it.

Need help making your very first list?
Download our FREE Rad Mommy Spreadsheet Template.