Things to Do

“Hello, my name is ____… and I’ve been a list maker for twenty years.  [response from support group]”

I’m sure there are many of you out there who are (to-do) list makers yourselves. I believe I got my obsession initially from my mother (also a list maker). In many respects, it is a way of life…especially in this day & age where it seems like for one reason or another, we are being asked to do more & more.  For me (like many others), I struggle to manage all the different assets of my life.  Home, family, work, hobbies, and the future.  So if you ever got a chance to walk in my shoes, you would understand how my lists keep me sane.

Quite simply, I create to-do lists because a) it helps me manage my time and b) it helps me keep track of details which I might otherwise forget.

Like many list makers, I do enjoy the sense of satisfaction of completing tasks (even to the point I list additional things I accomplished prior…simply for the fact I knew I could cross them out *smile*). I know from time to time my lists can get quite…lengthy.  For some, this could pose a problem (especially for those who obsess about their list).  For me, at some point I decided to come up with a loose standard for my expectations.:

I create two lists.  Monday through Thursday…and then Friday through Saturday. This way I can manage things with a workday/weekend mentality.

I take the number of items on my list…and using simple math, I create my goals.  My goal is typically 75%.  For instance, let’s say I have 20 items.

If I achieve at least 50% (i.e. 10 items), I consider my efforts a success.
If I achieve 75% (i.e. 15 items), I’ve met my goal.
If I achieve 90%, I usually feel a great sense of accomplishment.
and if I achieve 100% (which is very rare), I give myself a proverbial “pat on the back” and find a way to reward myself in some form or fashion.

That being said, you may ask yourself “well what if you don’t make 50%?”. The answer, “Ehhh.”  While I do try to make a concerted effort to stay on task and try to meet my goals, the fact of the matter is that I don’t want to let IT plan my time.

“If you make and check the to-do list, you are running it.  If it is telling you what to do all day…it is running you.” ~ Anonymous

While I think I may gotten my list making obsession from my mother, I do also recognize some of the obsessive traits my father had as well. Especially in his later years, my sister and I noticed how much he would chronicle aspects of his life (in Excel of all things). A lot of that manifested from his many years as a Civil Engineer where as part of this job, he was involved in this type of behavior (aka the devil is in the details).  I see myself doing similar things from time to time but for me the difference is more outward.  Much like sharing a blog as opposed to writing in a journal.

So, for me it’s not so much of an obsession as it is a tool to help manage my time at home and work as well as  allow me to focus on things at hand rather than spend time and effort having to remember things to come.  If you think that you are an obsessive list maker, check out this great article from Buzzfeed about 27 Signs Your An Obsessive List Maker.

For those of you who are list makers and are looking for some great tools to help you out, there are many great apps out there for you choose from:

Apple Reminders Apple Reminders quick location-centric to-dos Free iOS, Web, Mac
Google Keep Google Keep sticky note-style task management Free Android, Web
Google Tasks Google Tasks to-dos inside Gmail and Google Calendar Free Web
Remember The Milk Remember the Milk simple task management without distraction Free; $2/mo. Pro Android, iOS, Blackberry, Web
Momentum Momentum simple to-dos in your homepage Free Web
Checkvist Checkvist outline-style tasks and keyboard shortcuts Free; $3.30/mo. Pro Web
Everyday Everyday quickly swiping through projects Free; $2.99/mo. Pro Android, iOS, Web
Paperless Paperless simple, paper-style task lists Free Lite version; $2.99 iOS
Clear Clear simple, gesture-based interface $4.99 iOS; $9.99 Mac iOS, Mac
Swipes Swipes snoozing your tasks until you’re ready to do them Free Android, iOS, Web
Begin Begin focus on what needs to be done now Free iOS
TeuxDeux TeuxDeux a daily list of tasks $3/mo. iOS, Web
SomTodo SomTodo tasks with folder organization Free; $3.60/mo. Premium Android, iOS
Pocket Lists Pocket Lists advanced features like subtasks and OCR $4.99 iOS
Finish Finish preventing procrastination Free iOS
CARROT CARROT turning tasks into a game $2.99 iOS
Cheddar Cheddar keyboard powered simplicity Free iOS, Web, Mac
Taasky Taasky simple task categories From $1.99 iOS, Mac
Due Due time-based reminders From $4.99 iOS, Mac
Any.do AnyDo task collaboration Free; $2.99/mo. Premium Android, iOS, Web, Mac
Wunderlist Wunderlist managing work and personal tasks together Free; $5/mo. Pro Android, iOS, Windows, Web, Mac

~ Courtesy of zapier.com

 

If you would like to share your experiences, please feel free to comment!

 

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