Lists. Lists are great. They help you keep track of what you have to do, organise your life and generally function as an external memory, which is something I’m finding increasingly necessary.
I make lists all the time when I’m working, I’ve tried using apps and online systems and other computer documents but at the end of the day, no matter how much of a technogeek I am, I can’t beat the simple pen and paper list.
Give it a try, get yourself a big black pen and a ruled A4 notepad (wide ruled, of course, we’re not engineering students, after all) and write your ‘to do’ list out, skipping a line or three between items. Those empty lines are great for going back and adding in details later on if you need to.
I like to cross off tasks when I pass them over to whoever I’m working with, I take another (preferably even bigger) big black pen and get great cathartic joy scrawling a line through it. So when I’ve finished with the copy and pass it over to the graphic designer, my part, for the moment is done and I’m justified in crossing it off my list.
It doesn’t mean I’m washing my hands of the task, just that it’s out of my hands for the time being. I don’t need to think about it until it comes back to me for revisions, this way I can keep my ‘to do’ list short and my mind free of worry.
Then when I get cleared or down to just a couple of tasks, I transfer them over to the next page and start again. I always use notebook where the pages don’t come out easily, that way I’ve got a permanent record of what I did and when, as I put the date on each page.
I like this list method so much, I’ve started using it at home too. For everything from sorting out the car insurance and going shopping, to writing blog posts and not forgetting my girlfriend’s birthday.