Increase Your Productivity With a Paper To-Do List
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a list-making person. I absolutely love everything about lists — making them, crossing things off them, finishing them, organizing them, etc. etc.
When I went off to college I was armed with my trusty planner and plenty of notepads for making the many lists I would no-doubt make over the next few years. However, the first class of my entire college career was a computer class — and on the first day, I was introduced to the concept of virtual calendars.
For the first time ever, I typed up my list instead of physically writing it down. CRAZY!
It was new, it was cool, it was a great way to save paper — but throughout the entire first semester, I struggled to be extremely productive with my virtual lists and virtual calendar. I ended up putting everything into my virtual calendar, and still manually re-writing EVERYTHING into my paper planner.
I knew this wasn’t the best way, but my computer class required that everything be typed into my virtual calendar, and my brain told me that in order for me to remember it, I needed a hard copy with me at all times.
Ironically, during that same first semester of college, I took an extremely difficult religion class that required us to write pages and pages of notes every class. As I studied for the ridiculously hard exams, one of my study tactics was to work through my notes and physically re-write them all — because I realized that writing things down helped me to remember them.
I’ve never had a bad memory; however, when it comes to important information and things I definitely can’t afford to forget, I absolutely must write them down, as it’s the act of writing that helps to solidify those pieces of information in my brain. Plus, if all else fails, I always have the fall-back of my written list or notes.
So, while I’ve tried (and tried and tried) to find digital, virtual, and paperless systems that might work for me, I’ve failed time and time again.
Why I Love Paper Lists:
- Paper lists provide the opportunity for me to process my thoughts.
- Paper lists allow me to organize those thoughts and ideas into manageable daily and weekly to-do lists.
- Paper lists help me to remember what’s on my lists by physically writing down my tasks — and then reading them over throughout the day.
- Paper lists provide loads of satisfaction as I can vigorously cross off each to-do after it’s complete.
- Paper lists reduce my stress as I’m no longer frantically worrying about forgetting something important.
- In my opinion, paper lists are just the greatest — and so much simpler than any App, program, or virtual calendar!
I realize that paper lists might not work for everyone — but if you’ve ever felt stressed, overwhelmed, under-pressure, or like you’re constantly forgetting things; I’d urge you to try writing down EVERYTHING you need to do for that day.
It might sound like a lot of work but I bet it will only take 10-15 minutes — and after that 10-15 minutes, you’ll no longer need to worry about forgetting for the rest of the day!
And yes, you can totally use paper lists AND your favorite Apps or other virtual calendars. Just sit down at the end of each day, open your App or your calendar and physically write down everything for the next day.
I guarantee you’ll sleep better, feel less stressed, and probably even get more accomplished the following day!
About the Author:
Andrea Dekker is the simple living enthusiast behind the Andrea Dekker blog, business, and brand. She is passionate about simplifying every aspect of life in a way that makes sense for real people with real lives and real budgets. She lives her version of “simple” in a 125-year-old farmhouse with her husband, their 2 children, and an ever growing to-do list.