My To Do List

As of today, my To Do list just got longer.

I’ve known for a couple years that my approach to making “the” list might be different than how most people make theirs.  When I explained how I did it to a very close relative, she said, “Oh, Shel, you really should write an article and share that with people.”  The problem was, where would this article appear?  And why would anyone care about my To Do list methodology?  Well, at least I’ve answered the first question.

It’s appearing in my brand new blog.  Hurray!  And if you’re reading this, there is a possibility that you’ll care.

So, let’s get to it.  How is my list different?  Are you wondering?  Well, I’ve made it all about maintaining balance in my life. Instead of having a completely task driven list – and make no mistake about there are tasks on the list – I group those tasks into categories.  My categories are family, volunteer, writing, friends, home, spiritual, self.  If you decide you like this approach, your list could be longer, shorter or completely different, though I really suggest having categories for family, friends and self!

Now, let’s take a task like baking cookies.  It falls under family, home, and possibly friends.  It only falls partially under self, because while I love the act of baking, I’m on a diet which prohibits cookies.  I can’t give myself a full mark on this.  Okay, this calls for a compromise.  Self gets ½ mark for cookies.  BUT, if I decided to break the diet to have a cookie—yum—I could give myself a full mark and also I could log it under spiritual.  Cookies = Heaven. Get how this works?

Making my list like this, keeps me from retreating into my writing cave, never to see the light of day.  It reminds me to connect with friends, to volunteer (which I think is the responsibility of every human being), to make time to exercise, and to give the dog a bath.  This also makes sure that housework gets done, which by the way, keeps the family happy!  If I go more than a day without an item under friends or volunteering or spiritual, it clues me that I’m missing out on an important part of living.  This always helps me re-focus.  It also helps as I manage things for the Whatcha’ Reading now? website.

And while this new blog has been officially added to the list, I’m not sure where it will fall.  Under writing, certainly.  Friends, I hope.  In fact, if I’m really optimistic, it might meet every category (except the dreaded home/housework one). And that reminds me!  It’s time to go fold a load of laundry!

But before I go, I’d love to know:  What’s on your list today?  What is the task you’re looking forward to?  And which one are you avoiding?


June 30, 2011. Tags: . Uncategorized.


  1. Kristina Miranda replied:

    Great post Michelle! My list has four must-do’s: walk dogs, excercise, write, and recently added, practice guitar. Family always take precedent, but I find I can squeeze a little of all four in some where if I am determined.

    You’re approach is so interesting, and totally unique!

    I’ll be posting about my approach to goals next week on my blog, too. : )
    Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Meredith replied:

    You are way more organized that I am, lol. I’m the girl who runs to the grocery store with a mental list and forgets half of what she needs. I’m the girl who can never remember exactly what she needed to do on a given day. I need to start writing stuff down!

  3. ~Kerry O'Malley Cerra replied:

    Gosh, here I was thinking today would be a family only day–on vacay and about to visit Duke Univ. and UNC with the kids. But, reading your post pushed me to do some work in the car on the way. See, I’m Catholic and we were raised to feel guilty about things. lol

    Seriously, though, this post is fantastic. Thanks for the inspiration and making me get productive this early AM.

    ~Kerry O’Malley Cerra
    MG writer

  4. Jill replied:

    Wow, Michelle. I seriously sat down and had a good think about my “list” and what “tasks” might be on it. But what I realized is that I AM a very organized person, so I think the thing at the top of my list is (or maybe should be)to learn to let things slide. Don’t worry if the laundry doesn’t get done. Don’t stress if you don’t revise your four chapter goal for the week. And definitely, definitely, don’t freak if the kids eat pizza with no veggies one night a week. I love this post from you, and I can’t wait to hear more. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. RDoug replied:

    Okay, number one on today’s To Do List: Make a To Do List.

    Seriously, I need to get back to writing. I’d like to hit the 65,000-word mark on my current work-in-progress by this afternoon.

  6. s h e l d e l i s l e replied:

    I loved hearing from everyone…

    @Kristina — I’d love to play an instrument, but that won’t be happening.
    @Meredith — I write EVERYTHING down, but sometimes forget the list 😉
    @Kerry — No lists on vacation! No guilt either.
    @Jill — I’m so not a “let things slide” person…maybe when I retire?
    @RDoug — Hope you hit your writing goal.

  7. shelley replied:

    It’s been proven and even written about that writing down makes things happen. It’s a good habit to get into. Now, I just need to acquire it! Nice post.

  8. Authors helping authors « s h e l d e l i s l e replied:

    […] mentioned in an earlier post of mine (here) how I believe volunteerism is a personal responsibility for each of us.  Whether it’s being a […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: