Thursday

The Power of a Brainstorming To Do List

Penning anything you plan to do in the future in a list form is a very powerful move, because what it does is cause you to focus on only what specifically needs to be accomplished and you find that you feel empowered because of it!  Sometimes you just don't need or want an abstract view on what you are hoping or planning to do.  You just want to do them!

Brainstorming what needs to be done will help you eliminate what doesn't really need to be done right now.  Break tasks into small groups and subgroups then start doing them!

So what I came up with is an example of how you might want to get some things out of your head and on to paper in an effort to get tasks completed.  A To Do List of any sort is nothing more than a simple tool to help you brainstorm your needs from your wants.  It helps you become less stressed and makes you feel like you are doing something useful in your personal life.  So allow this  brainstorming exercise to motivate you to create effective task lists for all sorts of things you want to get done at home and elsewhere.

Let's say, you want to do the following things around your home: organize and clean your kitchen and living room and do some rearranging in the bedrooms, but you are having problems getting some things done.  Consider listing your tasks in the form of questions, rather than simple phrases.

Kitchen

What do I need to buy for myself, the children, and my partner?  List each person you are buying for and put their needs under each heading.

What has yet to be cleaned?  List the items in your kitchen that appear unsightly.

When was the last time I sorted old items stored away in cabinets, drawers and the refrigerator, what needs to be thrown away?  Note each place that you need to check and then start throwing objects away.

Add more to your brainstorming To Do list.  Highlight or star what is most important to you include your starting and ending dates if possible.  So that you will feel moved to begin.

Let's say you are asked to help someone get organized, but this person seems to have a problem getting started.  You can organize a brainstorming To Do list for that person in the form of questions.  Mention most important duties to complete first.

Livingroom

When was the last time you vacuumed?

Is your carpeting filthy?

Have you noticed an odor coming from your furniture?

Take a look at your drapery and blinds, are they dusty?

Could your wall decor use an uplift? 

What is the condition of your walls?  Is a paint job needed?

Bedroom

When was the last time bedding and window curtains were laundered?

What is the smell like in your bedroom?  Do your carpets need to be shampooed?

Now what you would do is continue with your questions.  Then you would add a new category and add the tasks that need to be accomplished elsewhere in the home or elsewhere maybe they are smaller or larger tasks ie.) Home Office--what files to keep and what files to throw away, Garage--what to give away, Basement--what repairs need to be made, Back Yard--what landscaping needs to be done, Front Yard--what treatment should I buy to keep weeds away, etc.  Notice each task starts with a question that will cause you to think about other things you need to do.

Let's say that you want to do something as simple as organizing some needed tasks for a variety of business projects.

XYZ Campaign

Make follow-up phone calls to do on Monday.

Market website on Tuesday include....

Speak with person about....schedule meeting for Friday.

What have I yet to do about...email campaign?

What still needs to be done with...?

When do I plan to get XYZ project completed and sent to client?

You list and you question what still needs to be done.  Then you start working on those items that are priorities.  Ask yourself each day, "What do I hope to get accomplished with my business?  What might anger me by nightfall if I don't get it done?"

Set target dates, include times and enlist help if necessary and note your thoughts.  If you aren't good at list-making or think this might be too tedious, maybe you can give a relative or friend an appointment book to help you pen your thoughts.  Tell him or her what yo have already done, what you hope to do and what are your present goals.  This person might be able to help you brainstorm.

When asking for help from others, be sure that you are clear about what it is that you want and be respectful of their time.  Someone or a group may not be happy to learn that you will be using their services most of the day or night.  So be clear as to what it is that you want and agree to a set a window of time dedicated exclusively to one or two tasks rather than five or 15. 

Also, check your budget and begin to put small amounts of money aside for your household fund.  Know when school breaks are and pay children to help.  Find out who might need some additional funds and ask this person to help you. 

When you start with brainstorming a list of things to get done, you are beginning to sort out your important tasks from your unimportant ones.  Therefore, you will be better able to reach goals.


Nicholl McGuire maintains other blogs including: Parents, Babies Children, When Mothers Cry and Laboring to Love an Abusive Mate

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