We have busy lives.
Even if you are not being a social butterfly every day of the week (I wish I was), you still have a pretty busy life.
Working, running a home, raising children… just doing things.
This can mean having to try to remember a lot every day.
It would be great to have someone to take care of this. It really would (sigh), but the truth is most of us don’t have that luxury*.
*(Disclaimer: some of you may have someone to do this for you, in which case I am not remotely envious. But if you could find it in your heart to lend them to me, I’d be eternally grateful)!
In the absence of having a Personal Assistant, what can we do?
Have a Brain Dump
This is a really good way to get everything out of your head and onto paper. I do prefer to use pen and paper for this. Don’t worry about what order it all comes out in. Just.Get.It.Out.
One you are finished, start grouping. You might want to use highlighters to do this so for example if you have a few points which are to do with making appointments, group them together.
I find this really useful and it helps me a lot to know that I don’t need to worry about forgetting to remember, and you can then nicely move onto the suggestions below.
Whether paper or electronic, these are great for noting events that need to happen on specific dates. I know I am stating the obvious here.
I personally prefer electronic calendars. I use the one on my phone because I set alerts for the times and dates for important calls, parties, appointments etc. When I look at my phone, my reminders for that day show on the home screen, so I don’t even have to remember to look at the calendar.
Do keep work and personal calendars separate. That way when you have finished work, your are not still still working.
Make To Do Lists
Most mobile phones and tablets have a note or task list on them, or you can download many free apps. These are really good for listing and schedule things you need to do. For example I use mine for grocery shopping. I add items to the list if I notice I am running low or have run out, this keeps me focussed when I am at the supermarket and I can tick items off as I grab them. When I need to buy an item again I just untick it, so I don’t have to re-write a whole list each time.
I currently use Google Keep which is free, and I have it on my iOS and Android devices. You can also add pictures and audio, and it can be synced between devices and shared with others if needed.
I would suggest using one app, rather than having different ones with various lists, as there is a danger of having ‘To-Do list overload’. (It is a real thing, believe me…I’ve had it).
If you prefer using pen and paper then get a notebook, one you can carry around with you, and always have a pen handy. You can create or add to To-Do lists as and when things pop into your head, refer back to them whenever you need to, and tick off what you have completed.
Ticking them off is so satisfying!
Keep your To-Do lists and calendar up to date
Sometimes To-Do list themselves can become overwhelming, so it is important to keep it up to date, or else what’s the point?
- Tick off things you have completed
- If a particular list is no longer needed, get rid of it. If it is electronic archive or delete it. If it is paper based cross or rip it out.
You don’t want to waste time re-checking the same list over and over if it’s not needed…you’re busy enough already.
I hope you find these small tips helpful. Maybe you’d like to share your tips and ideas, if so, leave a comment below.