Today I want to talk about lists. I am the queen of lists. I could get lost in list making. Truth is I have done this many a time. I love the distraction.

The last few weeks I have had so much on my mind that I got overwhelmed at the prospect of having to do it all. I knew exactly what I needed to do. Make a list. Do a brain dump.

The Brain Dump

What is a brain dump you ask? Well I found this term online while researching ways to get more organized. It is where you sit down with a sheet (or sheets upon sheets in my case) of paper and you literally write out everything that comes to mind. Dr’s appts, things you need to buy, recipe titles you want to try, taking the dog for a walk, showering, you get the idea. Literally every single thing that springs to mind goes on this list.

The Master List

From this list I then create what’s called a Master List. This is not an organized list. It’s literally the brain dump list with maybe a few less things on it. I scratch things that don’t seem as important right now. After I have them all written down I use symbols to differentiate them by type. For instance anything that is an item I need to purchase is labeled with a $. This is an easy way for me to scan a page and locate the things I know I need to buy. If it’s a business task it’s labeled with a B, a personal task with a P. You get the idea.

Weekly and Daily Lists

After the master list has been categorized I then break it down into a new fresh list for my week. I try to keep this list limited to 15 items. Here’s why. If I put 30 items on this list I’m going to be overwhelmed! That’s just me and the way my anxiety works. If I keep it manageable I know that most likely I will finish this list and then I can return to the master list and find other things I need to do or give myself a welcome and much needed break to spend time with the kiddo and hubby.

I am still debating on whether I need a daily to do list. The issue I have with this particular item is that I end up not getting everything done and then I’ve just wasted paper when I could have just kept the weekly to do list and worked off of that. I am currently working on a reusable checklist that will allow me to mark off the things I have to do every day and reuse it the next day just removing the check marks and starting over. I’ll present that DIY once I figure out exactly how I want to do it.

Here’s the gist. Lists can do two things. They can help you get organized and get shit done or they can overwhelm you even more than you were when you started. Obviously the goal is to help. I’m including FREE printable version of my weekly to do list in this post. It is incredibly simple yet cute which was important for me.

Do you use lists to help you get things done? Do you use weekly and daily or just one or the other? Share your successes and mishaps with me in the comments section!