I make lists. I'm a list maker. I don't think I could quit if I tried. Here's a variety of lists that help me get through the busy times:
Simple To Do List
However, it can be hard to get the right level of specificity on a simple to do list, especially at work. A simple to do list that goes on for pages is more a reminder of the endless suffering you're enduring. See, above, how washing the dishes and putting the dishes away are separate items? When I make my to do lists for home, I list each individual action associated with the laundry; start laundry; change loads; change loads; fold laundry; put clothes away. Otherwise, it doesn't actually happen and/or I don't feel like I've really done anything.
A subset of the Simple To Do List is the Completed Items list, which doesn't really work for me but I've heard good things from other people.
So much of my day is spent answering little questions and putting out fires that I can lose focus on some of the larger things or easily find a way to avoid simple tasks that I don't want to do. In the past few weeks, I've been listing five substantial things that will make me feel like I've accomplished something meaningful during the day. Here's what that looks like:
Now, once upon a time about five or six years ago, I was put in an extremely uncomfortable position that resulted in a lot of feelings in addition to a lot of complicated things to do in a very short time. I had to get my thoughts together about exactly what needed to happen, and I wrote them down in a very, uh, frank manner. I think I averaged two and a half epithets per list item. This list was on a private forum, and when I had completed items, I would strike them, exclaiming in all caps, "done, bitches." Which is how that sort of list is referred to by a certain set. It was very popular as a cohort were completing and defending their dissertations. I recommend using this sparingly, but when you need it, it is extremely effective.
So, what kind of lists do you make? How do you keep yourself on track in a busy time of year? Talk to me in the comments!