We have a deep kitchen sink, but as our family eats meals throughout the day, it starts to get piled up with dishes. Once we add a few of our taller Calphalon® pots into the mix it gets too crowded. The endless supply of dirty dishes starts to encroach onto the surrounding counter. The clean side is no different. Our drying rack is no match for the shear volume so we have to lay drying towels along the back of the counter to hold the overflow of clean dishes and the endless supply of empty seltzer cans that my youngest and I produce in a given day. Between the dirty and the clean, this area of the kitchen is often the messiest and most cluttered. I hate it.
I am physically uncomfortable in a cluttered space. I’m happiest when my house is clean. Fortunately, at least when it comes to the kitchen sink, my husband feels the same so we can usually keep ahead of the onslaught.
The same need for uncluttered spaces applies to my to do list. I like a nice, organized list.
If I searched my hard drive right now, I’d probably find old excel files dating back almost twenty years with titles like “house projects”, “gardening plan” and “renovation”. I use to have Doctor Who sticky notes with barely legible instructions scribbled across them hanging from my computer in multiples. My refrigerator mirrored the messiness of the sink with hand written lists and reminders organized on scrap paper and hung by magnetic clips at eye level helping to remind me of what I needed to do that day or that week.
When my girls were little, I used the Mom’s Plan It Calendar each year. With rows to track activities by family member and a pages for contact information and notes, It gave me a place to track and monitor the ever evolving activities and schedules that come with having young children in the house. I even kept all of the calendars thinking some day I might want to look back and scrapbook moments from the past. Maybe someday.
I’ve always been drawn to ways to keep track of life’s busyness. I’ve written down thousands of to do lists both large and small.
Technology has taken my ability to immerse myself in my deep need for organization to a whole new level. More importantly, it’s let me unclutter my lists and hone in on those truly important tasks to be sure I’m moving myself in the right direction. It can be far too easy to fill up my to do lists with the necessities of life instead of those things that make life joyful.
For the last three months, I’ve been using an app called Todoist. While it takes an investment of time to get it setup and organized, once done it is a great way to track upcoming tasks. Tasks can be grouped by projects and sections, color coded and labeled for easy filtering and shared with others. There are many other cool features too.
When I setup my projects, in addition to basics like laundry and grocery shopping, I focused my attention on including concrete tasks and activities for those areas of my life that bring me bliss. I even have a project that I setup called Creativity & Bliss where I track my One Little Word project and other creative pursuits.
I also transferred all of my blogging activities to the app, which has been especially helpful to me as I begin focusing on my blog again. Below is a screen capture showing a snippet of the blogging tasks that I set up on todoist as I prepared for this blogging challenge:
Like most organizational tasks it does require upkeep in order to be truly effective but I am reaping great rewards from that small investment.
Below are a few of my favorite aspects of using todoist for the last three months:
- I can add tasks to todoist easily and quickly. It’s a cloud based app so I have anytime anywhere access. I’ve downloaded it to my computer, laptop and phone. Whenever something pops in my head, it gets added to todoist.
- I can cross completed tasks off my list. Crossing off items on my to do list has always been a powerful motivator for me. Todoist not only lets me close out tasks as I complete them but also lets me set daily goals.
- I can breakdown my more creative goals into concrete daily and weekly tasks that remind me to prioritize them in my life.
- I can plan my day and week at a glance. I can filter and search the data as well as prioritize on the fly allowing me to get even more done each week.
Since I started using the app, I’ve completed over 5,000 tasks. Some as simple as posting a tweet others more involved and multi-step but all leading me towards my goals both big and small.
Why does this bring me bliss? It provides a way to focus in and prioritize those activities that are truly important to me. It reinforces those steps and actions needed to bring more bliss into my life.
Do you have a productivity app that you use?
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2020. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Bliss. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.