One Way To Organize Your Overwhelming Life

Whether you're a housewife, stay-at-home-mom or working woman, I'm sure you have an overwhelming life. Balancing God, husband, kids, house, work, family, hobbies and the rest of your everyday tasks can wear you down and confuse you to no end. Then you try to organize and plan for the day to come and you just want to jump back in bed and pull the covers over your head.

But what if you forget something? What will happen if that one thing doesn't get done? How can I get done what I need to and want to both? Will I go crazy in the meantime? Is there enough caffeine in the world to keep me going?

The answer begins with prayer and ends with an organized to-do list.

If you've known me or been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I love lists. I love writing them, thinking about them and, most importantly, crossing things off them. Sometimes I even add things I've already done just so I can cross them off. I. Love. Lists.

I have a list of my lists. Is that wrong? Hmm...

Now that I'm working on our Etsy shop from home and not working a full-time job anymore, I'm not sure how I used to get everything done. (The answer is that I didn't.) I also know that my brain gets overwhelmed very quickly, and when it does, I don't do anything. I shut down completely and don't accomplish anything. Add fibrofog to that, and lists are incredibly important to keeping me pressing on.

Having an organized to-do list is vitally important to making sure everything gets done, done efficiently and with time to spare. Let me show you how I do mine, and then you can modify yours to whatever works best in your own life. It will work for the home, a job, a family, outside activities and whatever else your life brings with it.

Start by asking yourself four questions and writing down the answers in this order:
What has to be done in the next hour?
What has to be done today?
What has to be done for tomorrow?
What one thing would you like to get done?

Here's an example from my own to-do list.

Quiet time
Workout
Write and schedule tomorrow's blog post
Write tomorrow's devotion
Make card for Etsy
Clean kitchen
Print out lettering for church bulletin board

One time through this pattern will take me 2-3 hours. It makes sure that I accomplish my Bible study, exercise, blog, devotion, Etsy, house and church activity in that order. And I don't have to think about what comes next because I planned it the day before and it's all ready to go.

Then, because I still have two-thirds of a day left, I can repeat this list for the next day. I can work ahead once I've accomplished the necessities for today. So I might get three blog posts, two devotions and two cards done in one day. Or it might be more depending on how long I write and how detailed the cards are.

This may sound a little obsessive, but it's what works for my mind. You can adjust it for your own personal preferences as you'd like. Just keep your list in chronological order: what needs to be done now, today, for tomorrow. This helps keep your day's activities in perspective, and you're less likely to rush later because you didn't get a grocery list made and you're already out running errands.

Right now I have about a week's worth of this list in my iPad. Because it's synced up to my phone, I can carry my list with me everywhere I go. This means I have a shopping list, grocery list, future craft plans list and much more at hand when I need it.

What list-making technique works best for you?

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