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Talk 'to-do' lists with Aviva - you could win £150 worth of high street vouchers. NOW CLOSED

(167 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 28-Oct-13 13:35:05

We've been asked by the team at Aviva to find out about your probably very long to-do list maybe it's on the fridge, on your phone or all in your head?

What's been on your to-do list forever and you've so far managed to avoid ticking off? What's your strategy for managing an ever-growing to do list? What impact did having children have on the list? Or, have you managed to tick something off? How did it make you feel?

Aviva says "With such busy lifestyles it's no surprise that families use lists to keep on top of things. However there's a temptation to focus on things we like doing, which can mean really important jobs stay on the list. Taking a little time to prioritise the things that are most important to your family's future and ticking them off could really benefit your family in the long run."

So please share your thoughts below - everyone who adds a comment below will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win £150 worth of high street vouchers.

Thanks and good luck

PS Please note your comments, anon of course, may be used by Aviva on MN and possibly elsewhere.

AndHarry Mon 28-Oct-13 16:19:54

I love 'to do' lists and have a notebook in my handbag with all sorts of lists: packing for holidays, Christmas planning, cleaning, food shopping... I also have a notebook at work with a to do list for each day.

I find that taking 5 minutes to write a list keeps me focused and makes it less likely that things, tasks and people will be forgotten. Ticking off an item gives me a small feeling of satisfaction and I especially like putting a big tick at the top of the pages of my work notebook to show that everything is done! Sad, I know...

I've always been a list person but I've got better at it now I have children. I tend to write my lists by hand now, whereas before I would keep them on an Excel spreadsheet.

AndHarry Mon 28-Oct-13 16:23:08

Forgot this bit:

Having something drag on is disheartening so I don't put things on my lists that I just won't do. Long projects are broken up into sub-tasks so I can tick those off as I make progress.

I do have a list of things that I would like to do with my spare time. Nothing has been ticked off yet but I only wrote it yesterday!

Trills Mon 28-Oct-13 16:25:57

The only list on the fridge is a shopping list, and it's not even a complete one, it's a list of "things that we need to buy that are not obvious".

I make lots of lists at work because I need other people to do things, and because there are other people relying on them getting done.

Where it's only me who has to do the thing, and only me who has a problem if it's not done, I tend to just keep it in my head. If I don't remember it's probably because I don't care very much about that thing getting done.

Rufus44 Mon 28-Oct-13 16:32:54

I have masses of to do lists. Usually they are very small or just refer to one thing, Christmas food for example

Other times they are huge, this is normally when I am feeling very overwhelmed by what I think I need to do. I put absolutely everything on it even stupid things! Quite often it doesn't look so bad when its written down and the stupid little things get ticked off quite early, result! Writing the list helps me organise my mind!

I only use lists for particular things - eg packing list / shopping list / do on Monday morning list. If I kept a general 'To Do' list it would depress me so much that I'd be incapable of looking at it.

Usually I just keep things in my head, but I'm not so good at that now. sad

trilbydoll Mon 28-Oct-13 17:29:21

I make lists at work - I cross stuff off and add things on the bottom until I run out of paper, then I start again in my neatest writing! I also always do the smallest jobs first, crossing a few things off quickly makes me feel efficient.

I only make lists at home when everything needs doing right now, ie because visitors are coming or it's Christmas. A general housework / errand to do list would never have anything crossed off and would confirm my suspicion that we desperately need a cleaner!

Murdermysteryreader Mon 28-Oct-13 17:32:46

I have a to do notebook . I find that dumping my ideas the night before is useful so I don't satay awake worrying. I use different pages for different things - eg food shopping, people to ring, appointments to make. I try and date every page so I can see if jobs are stuck on it. I try and tackle some each day nd take the notebook with me while commuting so I can make calls in odd minutes.

SuzySuzSuz Mon 28-Oct-13 17:35:43

I love my lists!! Always have one on the go at work which have my plans for the week, new priorities get added and things moved about flexibly.

At home I have the following different lists (now listed!)
Weekly grocery shop on fridge - add bits and pieces throughout the week
Weekly meal plan
DIY / general to do list
Christmas present list

I love crossing bits off, so very wrong but I do smile I'll often do something, go to the list to cross off and find it was just in my brain-list so I'll add it to the list just so I can then cross it out

Having lists makes life much more manageable, I can focus on the priorities whilst also not forgetting any other tasks as they'll remain on the list. Some tasks will sit on the list for ages but I find it better to know they're on there and will be dealt with at some point rather than forgotten.

Letitsnow9 Mon 28-Oct-13 17:38:37

I tend to write to do lists everywhere and never return to them. Putting small achievable things on rather than giant task ie Hoover rather than 'clean the house' helps

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 28-Oct-13 17:40:37

I have two to do apps I use on my iPhone and Kindle Fire: Evernote and Wunderlist.

The family knows, if it's not on my list, it won't happen.

There is the Never Ending Shopping List, the House To Do List, the Standard Tesco Delivery List. Also the weekly menu and all my to dos for my freelancing.

What's on them? Everything!!!!

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Oct-13 17:48:29

My To Do lists are generally in my head, unless a busy time is approaching (going on holiday, home renovations, Christmas looming etc) when I feel a compulsion to write everything on paper. I feel a lot more in control if it's all listed out.

I generally get through the list (eventually) although some things do drag on. I need to order a new sign for the house, and I've been failing to get round to it for the last year at least.

Sometimes I write something on the list knowing I won't actually do it.hmm

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Oct-13 17:49:28

And I have a perpetual shopping list going. My family know, if it's not on the list, it won't get bought!

BellaDesconocida Mon 28-Oct-13 17:52:39

I have disorganised to do lists - scribbled on envelopes and lost.
I've started writing them in my phone instead do I know where to find them.

nextphase Mon 28-Oct-13 17:54:21

Tend to have work to do lists, and ocasional home ones - either when there is something specific like Christmas, or if I'm going to be spending a lot of time doing chores, and I want DH to see what I've been up to!
I also leave DH to do lists!
They are great.

Willemdefoeismine Mon 28-Oct-13 17:54:28

I tend to do the 'easy' things but don't even write down the long-term things blush. That said, at the moment, I don't think I'm actually keeping pace with even the easy stuff...there seems to be so much to do all the time, most of it connected with the DCs!

ThisIsMeNow Mon 28-Oct-13 17:58:51

Ihave a shopping list on the fridge (two actually- one is for food shopping etc and the other for general notes) a calendar that's meant to keep us organised, a notebook of my to do lists and a book for event to do list eg birthdays and Christmas.

I have a list to go shopping with otherwise I forget things and a list on my phone of general to do toget through the day.

I use my phone to make notes and transfer them to the books when i get home.

Honestly, I love nothing more than a list blushgrin

I will list all the chores that need doing in the house, things I need to get or do in town, I don't really have any ongoing projects or things I keep putting off.

turkeyboots Mon 28-Oct-13 17:58:56

I love lists. I have long term lists, short term lists, holiday lists, packing lists, domestic admin and shopping lists split by type (food, clothes, other).

I write them down, as find it stressful to keep them in my head. Online lists I find hard to remember to keep up so have abandoned them.

choccyp1g Mon 28-Oct-13 17:59:51

I keep a shopping list on my phone, for the things that I only ned once in a while, such as bin-liners, or baking ingredients.

I also have a "it-will-change-my-life book" in which I write big jobs, like "new bathroom" and then break them down into ever-smaller jobs in the hope that I might get started.

DoItTooJulia Mon 28-Oct-13 17:59:55

I keep them in my head until they get too long and it stresses me out!

Then I have masses and masses of lists.

The thing I am most guilty of though, is writing a list and doing something else off it and then adding it to the list, just so I can cross it off!

choccyp1g Mon 28-Oct-13 18:00:39

I also cheat a bit, and list jobs I've already done, just for the thrill of crossing them off.

talkingnonsense Mon 28-Oct-13 18:01:12

I like to put things on the list that I have already done, so I can start by ticking things off! Love lists, and sometimes have trouble throwing out notebooks full of old lists- shopping lists, packing lists, to do lists- hate doing them on my phone notes as don't have the satisfaction of ticking them off!

ScarerAndFuckItsAGhost Mon 28-Oct-13 18:18:57

I make little notes and lists all the time, but I was thinking about them now and realised I have a list of big things in my head that we really ought to get on with.

Making a will, sorting out an important direct debit, changing our utility suppliers and some important maintenance we need to do on the house are all big things on my mental list that we need to get done and ticked off.

My little lists are different, shopping lists, things I need to remember for DS's school, and at this time of year, the Christmas list, which actually is a bit of an epic. Who I've bought for, who's left to buy for, who to send cards to, which shops I need to go to, what food to buy, when to post things. I have everything on that list except whose been naughty or nice.

talkingnonsense Mon 28-Oct-13 18:29:49

Ha x post!

DziezkoDisco Mon 28-Oct-13 18:30:39

I have them in my head stress about it for sges then write them down then lose the list.

I write lots of little lists ln one big bit of paper.

Things to do forever: sort out bank account for DS, book the dentist, buy savalon.

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