"Down to the Basics" To-Do List

A few months ago, I posted on how to get an insane amount of things done in a single day. 
Sound familiar? (noooo, we never overbook ourselves, right?!). 

In that post, I mention ditching all of our fancy, cute to-do lists for a single page of notebook paper and really just going crazy writing down all of the stuff we need to accomplish. Don’t worry. I am NOT talking about throwing out your adorable planner! 

(Here’s that post, if you want to read it! Project: Get Your Time Back)

I’m just talking about using this system for those crazy busy days/weeks when a simple planner isn’t enough.

Because my life has calmed down a little (a LOT) since finishing grad school, I’m kind of using a “weekly” to-do list these days . In fact, this is the actual one that I’m using right now! It’s still color-coded because I’m working on balancing out my life but if you want to really simplify your system, you can just use one pen for the whole thing! 

This one is in the front of the little notebook that I use to supplement my May Designs Planner because I’m a compulsive list maker. #cantstopwontstop

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all you need to get done in ONE day, here’s an 8-step tutorial on how I would suggest organizing that:

1 | Get a plain piece of notebook paper 

2 | Write down hourly or half-hour intervals to the left of the red line 

3 | To the right of the red line, write down any scheduled or time-related tasks 

4 | Now look at the time you have left, start writing your other tasks down 

5 | As you write down the tasks, make sure you go high-priority to low-priority 

6 | When you start a project or task, highlight it in yellow (if you want) 

7 | When you finish it, cross it out or use a different colored highlighter 

8 | I usually keep this list out on my desk so it’s easily accessed and updated!

(I have a grueling Saturday morning planned up there, huh? Don’t judge! I just used today as a layout example!)

It’s not the world’s fanciest system, and it’s certainly not very Instagram worthy, but it is effective. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is just to do less. (I completely stole that from my husband, by the way. He probably tells me to “do less” on a daily basis). 

Maybe one day I’ll start listening. 🙂 

Do you ever run out of room in your planner? Do you think this system would be helpful for you? Why or why not? 

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