View Full Version : My potentially workable to-do list.

06-18-10, 01:37 PM
This is still very much a work in progress, but DADHD wanted to hear about it, so here goes.

The problem is, I forget what I need to do, or what I need to do later. I do what I can see, which means some things get done more often than they need to, while others don't get done enough.

I need to have something written. Electronic reminders, for me, work only for scheduling things. My problem right now is that I'm not going about the regular things in an organized fashion. I keep saying that I need to make up a schedule of my day-to-day tasks, but every time I try to think of all the things that need to be done, it gets too big to even think about scheduling it.

So. . .I found a bunch of ancient 3x5 cards, and I have a plastic box that had alphabetical dividers. For some reason, the cards seem more attention-grabbing to me if they're turned 90 degrees, so they're taller than they are wide. Don't ask, I don't know. I taped the alphabetical dividers backwards onto a few of the cards, and wrote the days of the week, "daily" and "monthly". This is all I'm tackling now, the things I need or want to do on a regular basis.

Instead of trying to figure out ALL the things I need to do, I started out with the household stuff I could remember off the top of my head, and wrote ONE TASK PER CARD. When I had a few of them (wash the kitchen floor, sanitize the litter boxes, iron, stuff like that) I just put one card in each day, randomly, so the tasks are divided up evenly every day of the week.

Now, I know I'm not going to do those tasks specifically on those days, I simply did it so that I could see that it wasn't really all that overwhelming. I mean, I ended up with only two tasks per day to start! It made my to-do list a lot less intimidating right off the bat.

The next phase involves carrying the index cards around with me, along with a pen. When I do a task on a particular day, or see something that needs to be done later, I write it on the top of the card (the side, actually) and put it in the file. If it's something I did that day, I'll put it in the tab for that day. If it's something I'll be able to get to later, I'll put it into the tab for the day I think I can get to it.

Now, once I've gotten to the point where my daily, weekly, and monthly recurring tasks are all written down, each on its own card, this is where I'm hoping that the combination of scheduling and flexibility will work for me. If I can get to x number of tasks in a day, then all the cards can stay in the tab for that day. If I can't finish them all, I can move the cards for the unfinished tasks to the next day, until they get done. Eventually, each day's tab will have the tasks I can realistically get done in a day, and I can start each day's tab with a reminder that these are the three or four things that I need to do today.

With the moving cards, I can also remind myself of things that are less than weekly. I want to water the lawn and gardens every three days. So on Monday, I get a reminder to water. I turn on the sprinklers, set a timer so I can remember to turn them off, then take that card and put it into Thursday's tab.

Does this make sense to anyone? I just know that with my life, I can't just say "Every Wednesday, I'll do this, this, and this," because something will happen Wednesday, and before I know it, those things haven't been done in a month. It's sort of more like a tickler file than a schedule, I guess. I'll tell you how well it's working as I go.

06-18-10, 01:55 PM
This is interesting. If I am understanding this right you have a single card for each task. Then you divided them up between the days. Monday comes around and you didn't get to all of them so you move the ones you didn't do to Tuesday. And so on. If it is a repetitive task done every few days you just move it to the day that it goes after you do it today. What about appointments that aren't regular? Do you just make up a card and throw it in there at the beginning of the week then discard it when your done?

I think this is a very interesting idea. They even have small 3x5 acordian folders that would easily fit in my backpack. Then I'd have my todo list on me at all times. Awesome.

06-22-10, 02:14 AM
So, how's it coming?

06-22-10, 09:01 AM
I'm still fighting the urge to put too many things in, but so far, so good. I had three things in yesterday's tab that I couldn't get to at all because I was doing things for the kids all day and on the phone with a teacher (not because of any trouble, just him trying to get me to convince my daughter to stay in marching band. . .) and everything involved driving, driving, driving. So I have a couple of cards to cover today, and I know I won't get to them all, but I don't feel anxious about it or bad for not getting to them yesterday. For me, that's a pretty big deal.

I've written down a couple of cards for unfinished projects, trying to decide if I'm going to just put them into a day tab and move them if I don't get to them. I'm going to try that while there are just a couple, and if that works, I'll make some more cards. The urge to make this all-encompassing (and therefore a guaranteed failure) is very hard to resist.

The thing I've just realized is that as much time as I spend in the kitchen, the kitchen is not as good a place for this box as in front of my computer. It's here that I get distracted, and here that I sit at the end of the day, surfing mindlessly because I feel down about the stuff I didn't get done.

06-22-10, 09:13 AM
Well, here is my problem so far with trying your method. This doesn't indicate anything wrong with your method, just my inability to follow through with it. I made a bunch of cards that averaged 2 per day. But I can't ever remember to look and see. Even if I do look and see what I have to do that day, I don't give it the same seriousness as I give my written todo lists or my Google Calendar. This just goes to show you have highly variable everybody's needs are.

11-25-10, 04:21 PM
Amtram...I do the same thing with the 3 X 5 cards! I actually separated them into categories: AM Routine, After Work Routine, Bedtime Routine (these are my dailies), Weekly, Every Other Week, Monthly, Semi-Annual/Annual.

The dailies are done, well, daily and the weeklies every weekend. On the first and third weekend of each month I do the Every Other Week cards. On the fourth weekend of the month I do the Monthly cards. (On the second weekend I go up to visit my boyfriend). Any month that has a 5th weekend I use that weekend to do the Semi-Annual/Annual cards.

I make cards for other things that are non-repetitive like calls, errands, or random to-do's that just need to be done once. Those I just work in wherever they fit.

I keep the AM Routine and Bedtime Routine cards in my nightstand. The PM Routine cards are right by the door. The other cards live in a drawer in my living room.