Who doesn’t love the feeling of checking something off your to-do list?
As a communications professional, organizing thoughts and ideas, and keeping track of tasks and deadlines is essential in doing my job…and staying sane! Everybody has their own system or preferred method to getting their job done or keeping their life on track – for me, it all circles back to lists.
I am a huge believer in the simple, standard checklist method. In my professional life I make day-to-day checklists, a specific Open Enrollment Period checklist, and individual project request checklists. In my personal life I always make packing lists before I travel, create weekly meal plan/grocery lists and even budget or expense lists.
So why am I telling you all about my obsession with list making? Because, as people and professionals, it is essential to find what works for us to maintain some sort of organization and handle everything on our plate. We’re all human, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed or let some things get lost in the shuffle, but it’s much easier to stay on track with a trusted go-to method. It can be a simple as a checklist or as complex as your own software.
Whatever it is, it should give you the opportunity to step back and gather your thoughts, and provide something to refer to and keep you accountable. Just like you wouldn’t leave for a cross-country road trip without directions, don’t let yourself get lost in your professional or personal life – map things out so you don’t get overwhelmed and give things an order so you can prioritize effectively.
But there are pros and cons to every approach. Be careful – don’t get hasty with those little check marks. Before you know it, you may have lists for your lists and they may become counter-productive. Be mindful of your strategy and ensure that it is actually helping you and not making more work for yourself.
Try out a few different things and find what works for you. And if you get stuck…just make a list!