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Thursday, 4 April 2013

D is for - Do It!


The ''Do It' or 'To Do' list, writers love and use weekly, or even monthly. That is right isn't it?  You do use a list? Here is why you should if you're not...some tips to help you make it work!


  1. Tracking - Use one to track long term goals. Research shows keeping a list makes us happier and more productive, its also a good way of breaking a big project like writing a novel, down into smaller, more manageable chunks.
  2. Control - Each time you cross something off a list, it makes you feel good, a mental reminder that you're making progress.
  3. Memory - If you're good (I'm not!) you can possibly remember seven to nine things you should be working on. Lists make it easier, its there in front of you, you can delegate, prioritise or even cancel or change tasks.
  4. Decisions - Jotting everything down that comes to mind can actually help you solve BIG ugly problems too.
  5. Habit  - Once you get with the list idea, you'll work faster, and with more ease. You will become more productive over time.
  6. Motivation - Lists spur you on towards your goals. Making you more enthusiastic to complete tasks because you can see progress.
  7. Priority - You can see at a glance what will make you happiest if you could complete it.
  8. Feel Joy - When you're ticking off, or striking a line through a completed task.
  9. Stress Proof It! - Make sure you have at least a couple of fun things on the list. Something you enjoy, in my case it might be walking or taking time out for tea and cake with a friend.
  10. Don't Overdo It! - Whatever you do, don't overload you're list, otherwise you'll have a constant thrum of worry in your head that you can't get it done. I know, because I used to do this all the time. Its non productive.
Why not try it this week, start a list for tomorrow. Keep is short. Start out with three or four challenges.

Something like,

2000 words
Send a long overdue email to a writing buddy
Enter a competition
Go for a 30 minute walk

Then do the same again the next day, and the next, and come back and let me know how it went?

37 comments:

  1. I've been thinking about starting a 'to do' list, mainly because I keep forgetting to do things (and only remember when I get into bed and I can't do anything about it!). You've made some good points there, so I'd best get my pen and paper out.

    http://rebeccahgiltrow.blogspot.co.uk/p/a-to-z.html

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    1. Start small, and get into the habit slowly, it'll make you more productive.

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  2. I do have lists to help keep me on track.

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    1. A woman after my own heart. ;-)

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  3. You're talking to e converted here. I love lists. I even put 'make a list' on my to do list... Sometimes!

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    1. I know exactly what you mean Ros... ;-)

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  4. Good post, Maria. I have something similar planned for my W post - Write It Down, Make It Happen. There's a real power in making something tangible, simply by writing it on a piece of paper.

    I have also become addicted to the electronic equivalent, with my phone beeping incessantly to remind me to do things too!

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    1. Oh I know what you mean about the phone! Its my new notebook...

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  5. Hi Maria,

    I've not wrote a list for quite some time now. Better get on to it!

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    1. Oh I bet you have really... :-)

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  6. Good advice. Number one on my to-do list – make a list.

    Keep up the good work.

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    1. You too Sally, i shall check your list when I next see you... ;-)

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  7. I took a few days off work to get some things done, and you just motivated me to make a to do list so that I know where to start. Thanks!

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  8. I love making lists, I even have lists of lists! Crossing things off my lists is so satisfying.

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    1. Another woman after my own heart.

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  9. great advice--esp. about not over doing the list--which i tend to do!!

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    1. It took me a while to realise I was putting too much on my weekly list, and i felt deflated when I couldn't reach my targets.

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  10. You know this is my kind of post, Maria :) I'm a massive lover of lists (and spreadsheets). I definitely feel out of sorts if I abscond from my "To Do" lists, I don't have the mental capacity to retain it all in my head!

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    1. That is my excuse too. My brain is worn out... ;-)

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  11. The only lists I make are shopping lists but I really must try and do it.

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    1. I do online shopping lists, and have that down to a fine art now...cutting back on the biscuits so I can afford to go out and eat cake!

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  12. Yep, I do "To Do" lists. Not always. But when I need to be very serious about staying on task, a piece of paper comes out.

    You can find me doing the Ato Z at either of these places:
    Take 25 to Hollister
    Don't be a Hippie

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    1. I like that expression, 'staying on task' ;-)

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  13. To Do Lists stress me out. But I have three things I try to do daily. Write, exercise and stick to a healthy diet. I mark my calender two diagonal lined and a vertical line if I've achieved all three.

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    1. I thought you didn't make lists...that sort of sounds like a plan to me.

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  14. Love lists... Looking forward to the rest of your A - Z posts!

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  15. My to-do list just grows and grows. It even has an entry about half-way down that says, 'Organize to-do list'...

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  16. I actually did something like this for my book. It worked fantastically!

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  17. I was great at making lists in university but now I don't use them as much as I should. I have been reading up on ideas. Thanks for these tips and reminders. I know lists are definitely effective when I use them.

    Denise at Organization and Inspiration for Fellow Writers, participant of A to Z Blogging Challenge
    Denise Reashore on Facebook

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  18. Yes, its getting into the habit that is the most difficult ...

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  19. I'm a list maker so I can identify with this list!

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!