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Organize + Energize: Organizing Your Daily To-Do List

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


How do you organize all of the errands you have to tackle on a weekly basis? Are you using a daily to-list or a weekly one?

If you’re working off a weekly to –do list, are you feeling a little overwhelmed? With a weekly to-do list, you have a long list of things you need to accomplish and they’re in no specific order. It’s just a bunch of stuff that you need to get done. You may take a look at that list and say “forget it” there is too much to do and you probably won’t do half of it. You may also find yourself driving all over the state during the week tackling your errands. By breaking each day out, you can have a plan for each day and it won’t be as stressful to tackle and you’ll feel better about the week ahead.

Here are 5 tips to keep you on track.

Get rid of the weekly to-do list. How is your weekly to-do list working? Do you feel overwhelmed? Do you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Switch to a daily to-do list and it will be more manageable.

Plan your week. Here is where this comes in handy with running errands. On Friday, take out your calendar, pen and paper. If you prefer, you can use your tablet or phone, whichever you prefer. If you’re using paper, take 7 pieces of paper and write the days of the week on each sheet. Each day will have its own piece of paper. Grab your calendar and take a look where you need to be next week. Never again ask yourself, what am I forgetting? You’ll never forget an appointment again.

Make your to-do list from your calendar. Transfer everything from your calendar to the daily to-do list. You may say this would take too much time, it sounds like it would, but trust me on this it’s going to be a breeze.  On Friday afternoon, take 10 minutes to create your to-do list for the following week. Write everything down on this to-do list. Get everything out of your head and onto paper.

Coordinate your errands. You know you have to go to the mall to return something and then you have to go to Staples to pick up office supplies. You need to get pet food, and you need to also drop something off at your mom’s house. You get the picture. Take a look at your daily to –do lists and see when you are going to be in the vicinity of the errands you need to run. Put those errands on your to-do list. This is going to save you so much time, save you money, reduce your stress and save you gas.

Actually use your daily to-do list. Using this to-do list will keep you on track with tasks, save you time, decrease stress and release mental clutter. You’ll become more efficient and productive. Good reasons to use one, right?

Tackling your errands in an efficient and productive manner is all about planning and preparing. It’s about being organized and being able to maximize your time. Try practicing this method in the week ahead. Let me know how it works for you!

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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