With so many other things going on in your life it might be hard to remember exactly when you last did something. Things like cleaning the gutters, or going to the dentist may not enter your consciousness until something goes wrong…the gutters are overflowing and water is going everywhere, or your tooth is aching and you kick yourself for not going to the dentist more regularly.
Your to-do list may already be crowded enough, so remembering to add rarely done tasks may just escape you. I’m right there with you!
Here are two different ways to organize your monthly and yearly to-dos in a way that you will remember to get them done.
When Did I Last?
The first way is exactly that…have a “When Did I Last List.” This list may live in your planner, on your phone, or be on a corkboard by your desk. It can live in any place that is convenient where you will see it often and remember to use it. Once you decide where this list will live you can start compiling what should be on it.
Start by adding things you remember or come right to mind. This can be health items like the dentist, or physical. You can also add home tasks like changing the furnace filter or washing the curtains in the basement. If you remember approximate dates, fill them in. If not, then add them the next time you do that task.
Then keep the list going by adding things as they come up. For example, you change the water filter on the fridge and want to remind yourself to do it again. Add that to the list.
The next step is to create a habit around referring to this list. One suggestion is to do it each time you sit down to pay bills, or maybe you have a weekly planning routine that you can add it to. Each time you refer to it you will look for things that are coming up. When you see that it has been nearly a year since you had a physical you can now add it to your to-do list.
Create a Reminder List
Creating a master list is very much like creating a cleaning schedule. If you use a cleaning schedule then you may have categories like, “things to do each day,” or “things to do once a week.” Using this approach you will add “things to do each month,” or “things to do once a year.”
The annual list would include the things that only need to be done periodically. For example, you would add “have gutters cleaned – September,” or “Shampoo carpets – May.” On my list I also have things like, checking the ski clothes and equipment each October. This not only reminds me that we need to make sure we have what we need for the winter, but it reminds me to budget for things we may need to replace.
Remember, just like any other habit, creating and maintaining this type of list may take some getting used to. Try grouping it together with something you already do (habit stacking), so you remember. An example of this would be – “when I pay bills I will also check my monthly and yearly to do list”.
Creating monthly and yearly to do lists is another tip to help you organize the ongoing task of keeping your house in order. If you would like more information, support, or accountability check out my private Facebook group, Organized Priorities Collective. This private space gives you an opportunity to not only ask questions but get additional information about being organized and more productive in your daily life.