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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.

Bringmewineandcake Mon 28-Oct-13 19:25:42

I love making to do lists for practical things and the sense of achievement when ticking an item off helps enormously!
I have yet to tick every item off any list before starting a new one.
Having a baby has meant my to do lists are 3 times longer and things take 10 times longer to do.
I also like writing 'have done' lists so that I can see what I've already done and stop feeling quite so bad about things.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 28-Oct-13 19:31:24

I find that to do lists really help me clarify what I need to get done and help me to prioritise, particularly at work.

jojane Mon 28-Oct-13 19:34:28

I fill notebooks with lists, half of which never actually get done, but I make lists for meals, packing, shopping, party planning, days out, cleaning, etc. I probably make at least one list a day, today I have made one for ds1s star wars party, people to buy Xmas presents for, meals for the week and updated my list of tv programmes I watch so I can keep eye out for new series coming on.

BornToFolk Mon 28-Oct-13 19:36:54

I use to-do lists a lot but mainly short term tasks. I really need to do a list for longer term, less urgent things that just need doing, like backing up the photos on the laptop.

I set reminders on my phone a lot and also email myself from work if I think of things that I need to do in the evening.

VulvaVoom Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:16

I have to write or set reminders for lists for all manner of things. Without a proper shopping list, I always end up with stuff like filo pastry, foil, a plug in and brazil nuts and none of the stuff I actually need! I also HAVE to have this written down, so I can carry the piece of paper around with me, grasping it hopefully as I trawl the aisles.

Other lists I keep are ones for noting what Christmas presents I've bought people and I carry this around in my purse from early Nov, so I know what's already been purchased and what I need to get/who I need to buy for. At this time of year, I genuinely get out of bed sometimes in the middle of the night to note down that I've bought my Dad some Family Guy socks again

Reminder lists are more of a life essential, I use my smartphone for these and set alarms so I don't forget to cancel that dentist appointment or book the Work Christmas do.

And don't get me started on work reminders! I think I would have been sacked years ago if I didn't set up a gazillion task reminders each week grin

Bigfingers Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:20

I once created a 'To Do' scroll - we were planning to put the house on the market and things needed doing in every single room. At the time we had a 22 month old DD and it was NOT easy getting through the list (it included things like paint window frames, paint skirting boards, totally de-clutter, weed driveway uggh makes me feel tired remembering!!)

Four years later we have three children under 7 and I have things on my to do list that have been there since we moved!! I still haven't replaced the old Roman blind in the spare room with our one, which has been sitting in the corner of the room for 4 years!!! blush I have been pregnant or with a newborn for most of the 4 years, but still. Sighhhhh.

Currently on my to- do list (which is in my head, but occasionally gets scribbled down just so I can try to motivate myself)

Replace blind

Put up wallpaper I bought 8 months ago

Replace carpet with oak flooring if I ever have any money again in my life

Touch up the bits of paintwork from when we had the bathroom done two years ago

Tidy up garden for winter

sad I need a lie down

newtothenet Mon 28-Oct-13 19:37:39

Day to day chores and tasks are quickly ticked off my to do list but, since having my nine month old daughter, it's the things "for me" that I never get chance to do. For example, I'm an amateur photographer but never edit the photos I take, and I love crafting but never finish a project!

wheretoyougonow Mon 28-Oct-13 19:39:16

I have just bought a new diary that has to do lists for every member of my family incorporated in it. Very very excited about 2014!
I normally write them on my phone as I won't loose it.

whattodoo Mon 28-Oct-13 19:42:32

Lists make me feel calm.

I have several on the go, some are basic bullet-points, others are broken down into tiny details.

I keep some on paper in my handbag, work ones are in a notebook, repeat ones (Christmas, holiday packing etc) are on spreadsheets.

DP quivers when I get my lists out.

mrscumberbatch Mon 28-Oct-13 19:47:04

I hate to do lists. The sheer number of things that I have to do overwhelms me and I spend so long wringing my hands over the list that I get nothing done confused

HoneyDragon Mon 28-Oct-13 19:55:17

I was following my massive to do list the other day. But it all epically failed when you decided to prevent me crossing the road to get to the drs surgery on time on account of you filming an advert and dumping your vehicles all over the jeffing place, Avia angry

TheFutureMrsB Mon 28-Oct-13 19:58:04

I have a cleaning to-do list that I write out and stick to the cupboard door when I am feeling not myself energetic.

I write the stuff down in order of the rooms and what should be done first -
Kitchen -
Clean tops of cupboards
Empty cupboards and clean
Throw old tins never happens as DP puts them back
Clean window & sill

I think the list writing takes me longer than the actual cleaning! I then cross through each job as it is done, so will come down stairs inbetween cleaning rooms to cross each room off I'm not mad honestly

I also have a to-do list in my purse which I write items down that I want to buy, these never get crossed off though as I always forget that it's there.

I quite like lists grin

beanandspud Mon 28-Oct-13 20:03:25

My work to-do list is in a big A4 notebook that I carry around everywhere. I also have a 'jobs to do at home list' pinned to the office wall at home and occasional lists for packing/holidays etc.

I'm also thinking I'd quite like a proper white board.

The shopping list is constantly a work in progress. As we run out of things during the week it gets added to the list.

I also have a special Christmas notebook where I plan menus, presents and list who's going where. Sadly, I could tell you how many roast potatoes we needed for Christmas dinner in 2002 blush.

cluttered Mon 28-Oct-13 20:08:37

Yes lists are definitely calming, I get into such a state about things like holidays and writing a list of everything that needs doing with an estimate of when to do it by and the time it will take stops me waking up in the night in a panic!

Some things have been on my "life" to do list for ages like improving my foreign language skills which goes to the top of the list every summer after returning from holiday. But, I have actually made progress in this one recently, after reading a Sunday supplement article about how you will only achieve something if you actually break it down into tangible steps I did this. I have downloaded the app for a foreign language radio station onto my phone and have been listening to it most days and making huge progress in my comprehension, I feel really proud of myself!

sharond101 Mon 28-Oct-13 20:30:20

What's been on your to-do list forever and you've so far managed to avoid ticking off? My to-do list always ends with making the next to-do list! There is always something to be done so always a list to be made. What's your strategy for managing an ever-growing to do list? I enjoy ticking things off the list so tackle the simple tasks first, do some delegating and prioritise. What impact did having children have on the list? My list got longer and needs more organisation to complete. It is now never ending so needs to be able to be put aside for kiddy time to take place. Or, have you managed to tick something off?. Theinfertility appointments are off the list now although soon to be re added How did it make you feel? Relief.

zazzabeans Mon 28-Oct-13 21:21:21

I love lists grin
Ive got numerous lists in my Filofax and I am always crossing off then adding more to it grin

MsGazelle Mon 28-Oct-13 21:48:55

I have no lists. I float around in a state of mild panic at all times, dimly aware of all the things I ought to be doing but hoping if I ignore them they will go away.

LittleBallOfFur Mon 28-Oct-13 21:53:42

I write loads of lists, it really does help me to get everything down on paper so I'm not holding onto it in my head. This week I've got lists for my sons birthday, cleaning the house beforehand, his party, cleaning the house before that, as well as my to do lists for work.

I find at work I will put off things I don't want to do, though I'm actually getting better at tackling horrible jobs first.

personally though, its the big 'for me' things that I never seem to find time for - learning the cello, writing...but mundane, quicker day to day things like pay the bills I do get through.

LittleBallOfFur Mon 28-Oct-13 21:55:05

I do sometimes write things on my lists that I've already done just so I can cross them off.

bonnymiffy Mon 28-Oct-13 21:57:56

I used to be a fanatical list-writer, but since having children that seems to have changed.. not sure why but may have something to do with never having both a pen and paper handy at the same time!
I do write a shopping list though, even essentials have to be written on and will be missed if they are not, but I have DD1 in the trolley and DD2 in a baby carrier so my mind isn't entirely focussed when I get to the shops..
The to-do list is generally either in my head or on a whiteboard in the kitchen - I only need to look for a pen to write it down but that doesn't guarantee it'll get done!

Barbeasty Mon 28-Oct-13 22:06:56

I've never cleaned the windows. ...

I love having a to do list, and will break tasks down so I can cross more things off. I've also been known to add things that I've already done so I can cross them off and persuade people I've been working very, very hard

But DH takes it to a whole new level, and has his to do lists filed away.

foolssilver Mon 28-Oct-13 22:51:36

I have lots of lists on the go at the moment which are all in a wee notebook. Current ongoing ones are DIY to do lists, things to buy for the baby lists, Christmas present lists and my own (rather extensive) wishlist.

I also do a lot of volunteering so I have to do lists related to that.

I easily get through a few notebooks a year, my life would be a mess without them!

MyNameIsInigoMontoya Mon 28-Oct-13 23:01:54

I am a list person and really need to be just now to keep on top of things, it does get depressing sometimes though the way the lists usually just get longer rather than shorter. I cross off one thing and then 3 more requests come in from school or whatever...

It's better since I started managing them on my tablet instead of bits of paper though, as it meant I could separate things more easily into a longer-term list (things like decorating jobs, which are bigger but less urgent) and a short-term list for more urgent/immediate things like buying presents, filling in forms or renewing insurance.

Lately I have managed to start one or two of the longer-term jobs (first time in ages!) which is nice, though they are still taking a while to finish.

The thing that really bugs me is when I end up with a lot of things on my list which are really jobs for DH, but as he is NOT a list person I end up having to be the one that (repeatedly) reminds him of them, or they won't get done. Really wish he would get himself organized so I don't have to do all the brainwork for both of us. (Yes, I have read the Wifework book...sigh)

Kazzyv Tue 29-Oct-13 06:30:52

I use odd lists on old envelopes and scraps of paper most of the time but Christmas I have a special book, divided into sections. We have a big drinks party every year on Christmas Eve so I have one shopping list for that, another for Christmas Day food, another for presents, and lastly cards to send. I keep it from year to year so one of the saddest points of the year for me is crossing people off the card list who have died since last Christmas, but it does mean that I reflect on those losses while celebrating which is also rather bittersweet.

Ajaney Tue 29-Oct-13 08:14:29

My main list is written down and kept in my bedside drawer. It has everything from buy socks to compare energy suppliers deals. I transfer things to the calendar on my phone to try and encourage myself to do them! If I have completed a task when the reminder comes up, I can dismiss it. If I haven't I either extend it or dismiss it and worry about the next time I read my list. Harder to do things which involve going into town or making phone calls now I have a child and work part time but hoping it will be easier when he starts school next year.

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