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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.

NettleTea Mon 04-Nov-13 16:57:40

I make lists all the time. My DP is ASD so I make lists for him too, and then he does them - often better than I do!!

I have some coursework which has been on my 'to do' list for too long...

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Nov-13 14:10:38

Thanks for all your lists comments. Am pleased to say turkeyboots has been selected as the winner of the £150 voucher. Well done.

manfalou Mon 04-Nov-13 11:19:29

My name is Sam and I'm a LIST ADDICT!

I write lists for everything. The shopping, daily jobs, weekly jobs... what to pack in the changing bag... house jobs (long term)... Long term goals and places to visit. Is that weird?

Soemthings just don't get done and do remain on the lists... but they will get done eventually.

Some things that have been on our to do list for months or even years are:

-Painting the windowsills in the conservatory that was built 5 years ago and STILL isn't finished (we had two children, it went further down the list)

-Pick a wedding date.... NOW TICKED OFF. 26th May 2015. Lots of lists for that already made!

-Get the outside of the house painted.

IceNoSlice Sun 03-Nov-13 07:09:03

DH and I always have a list: it helps us plan our weekends, make sure we both have time to do something we want to do and get the important stuff done. At the moment it has a few things we need to do before our holiday, plus jobs around doing up a room in the house. We go through it regularly and take jobs each.

Having kids has just meant being organised is even more important to us - if we can do as much of the dull stuff online, in lunch breaks at work, in an evening etc, it means we have more time as a family.

I did a big sort out of all our paperwork recently- that had been on the list for a while. It was great once it was done!

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 02-Nov-13 11:41:15

I am a list maker and user.
I have a laminated list of housekeeping jobs allocated to each day. At the start of each week I put the dates on the days and then work through the list, ticking off as I go. I love seeing hte ticks mounting up as I do all the jobs... At the end of the week I rub it all out, have a sweetie as a reward and start all over again.
I also have a blank whiteboard on the same cupboard door on which I write extra lists eg if my mother is coming and housework needs doing out of synch then it will be listed there.
There is also a weekly planner where I write all the things that are happening.
I used to keep a list of all the long term jobs we needed to do like fill the cracks on the wall in the spare room but they never got crossed off and that made me feel very fed up so I scrapped that!
This all makes me sound very organised but the truth is that I'm not! If the list wasn't visible I'd never remember to do anything! I pass the cupboard door loads of times everyday so there is no excuse!!!

I also add things to lists just for the satisfaction of ticking them off.

At work I make lists in my notebook. Some days I put the list on my whiteboard so the kids can remind me that I need to do the jobs and then I can tick them off or rub them out so I can see progress.

If I am feeling really unmotivated I break tasks down into mini chunks.

lilyloo Sat 02-Nov-13 09:10:55

I dont do lists but Mil does , and its a list of diy jobs for Fil. As soon as he finishes one job she adds another it always makes me lol every time we go round.

Pollaidh Fri 01-Nov-13 22:47:51

My husband mocks me for my to do lists but they help the house run more smoothly. I used to use paper and lose them but now I use my iPhone list and can even send it to my husband. Shopping, jobs plus long term aims all go on. The thing that has been on the list longest is unfortunately making my wedding photo album. It always gets pushed to the back.

FreeWoooooooo Fri 01-Nov-13 22:09:17

I'm finally doing one of my to do jobs on Sunday after 6 years! I've been meaning to re hang the roof blinds in my conservatory since moving in almost exactly 6 years ago. It's finally happening!

We've got an 8 month Dd and have just remortgaged so are redoing our life insurance this weekend too. We need to redo our wills too now Dd has come along. I used to have an important/urgent grid but since remortgaging, getting DD baptised and her childcare sorted for when I got back to work everything else just seems like a 'nice to do'

StainlessSteelCat Fri 01-Nov-13 18:36:09

I have considered making a master list of my lists. I always gave many on Rogers go. Shopping lust, long term wish we'd get it done list, daily to do lists, monthly to do lists, holiday packing lists, Christmas lusts (food, presents) and multiple of many of these because I lose them. I am that organised.

I find if I don't write down what I need to do it flutters up my mind when I'm trying to sleep. I also forget stuff 'f I don't write down. both of these have got worse since having children. especially the forgetfulness.

Orange01 Fri 01-Nov-13 18:36:05

I love to do lists, unfortunately I end up writing them on post it notes which end up dotted around the house and work. My desk looks ridiculous with bits of paper stuck all over my computer but as the week goes on they disappear as I throw them away. smile

Alicadabra Fri 01-Nov-13 18:27:54

My DH laughs at my list-keeping but I bet he'd notice soon enough if I stopped!

My strategies are similar to others on here: I break big things down into manageable small tasks. I have an ongoing shopping list in the kitchen which all the family are encouraged to to use (though they often don't and then try to blame me when we run out of stuff!) I use Evernote on my phone and PC to keep track of most of my other lists, eg. Work To Do list and General To Do list but I do like a paper list too - crossing out something with a pencil is so much more satisfying than deleting a line in a computerised list. I think it's fine to add and tick off a task after I've done it - when faced with a big To Do list it's very important to keep up morale!

Having children made written lists more important than ever. I used to be good at keeping stuff in my head (and now the kids are older I'm getting better at it again) but during those sleep-deprived jelly-brained days with a young baby around, there was no way I could remember everything without writing it down.

The stuff that's been on my to-do list forever is mostly things that can only be done when the kids aren't around, like painting or sorting through the toys to filter out the junk. When I do get one of those long-term things done, it's always immensely satisfying.

LentilAsAnyFUCKERthing Fri 01-Nov-13 16:09:32

I have a few to do lists for various things. DH set something up online for mutual to do things too, so we can each see and action as appropriate. But my own ones are half daydreaming (my list of what would make a dream home, my list of where to travel around the world if money were no object) and then the real to-do list for jobs that need doing, places we need to go, list for gift ideas for Xmas, stuff like that.

DifferentNow Fri 01-Nov-13 16:05:09

I keep short term very specific to-do lists on my phone and longer term more general ones in my mind. These are things like repairing the roof and completely redecorating rooms but if I put these down on paper it would be too overwhelming. To-do lists make me feel calm and in control, which is very important to me. My strategy for managing an ever-growing list is to dive in and get a few of the easier things to tick off sorted first so that I can see some progress. I also concentrate on all the things I have done rather than the things I haven't. My lists are considerably longer since having children!

telsa Fri 01-Nov-13 15:38:37

I have so many to do lists. Now they also appear as emails, which I dash off to myself at all times of day. My to do lists get longer and longer - as much as I cross one thing off, 3 more appear. I need them because otherwise I would forget to do things, but I hate them too as they admonish me constantly and make me feel like a hamster on a treadmill.

They are mainly on scraps of paper around my desk at work.

supermariossister Fri 01-Nov-13 14:56:23

i like lists, but i have moved on from lists on the paper to lists on my smartphone. its nice to know where i am at and what needs doing. boring things tend to stay on there longer though...

asuwere Fri 01-Nov-13 14:41:10

I love lists - I have lists for everything (have occasionally had lists of lists!)

I have a few big things that need done in the house and I know they won't be done very soon so they are on a separate list and hidden inside a cupboard door so that I know it's there but don't need to see them too often!

I have a notebook that I tend to keep my lists in. It is very satisfying ticking things off and knowing that I'm getting somewhere. Sometimes it's easy to get lost in the day to day cleaning, shopping, tidying and forget what's actually being achieved so seeing it all in a list makes it seem better. DH is not so keen on lists and he really doesn't like lists that I give him!

My dad always adds things to a list just so he can tick them off! smile

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 01-Nov-13 14:07:27

Oh I love lists. It stops me panicking about what I need to be doing.

I have a shopping list permanently on the go, and a to do list at home which contains short term things like dropping a parcel off, taking library books back.

I have a "long term projects which need doing round the house" list which is a bit depressing as they never seem to get done.

I have a to do list at work, otherwise I wouldn't keep track of what I need to do.

My Christmas present list was started in August!

Jinty64 Fri 01-Nov-13 13:55:35

Before I had the children I didn't need a to-do list, it was all in my head. Now I keep it by the microwave, shopping list on one side everything else to do on the other. I also have one at work beside my computer to note down all the work things I have to do. I have recently started setting my phone with reminders in case I forget to check my to-do list. Who knew!

nerysw Fri 01-Nov-13 13:44:21

I live by lists, it's the only way I get things done. There's nothing quite like the satisfaction of crossing something (no matter how small) off the list, I've even been known to add things I've already done just so that I can cross it off.

shscc Fri 01-Nov-13 13:42:03

I always use my phone to make my to-do lists. It makes things so much easier ... I never go anywhere without my phone, but always used to forget my paper type lists!

pepperrabbit Fri 01-Nov-13 13:41:34

I have a whiteboard in the kitchen, we keep an ongoing shopping list on one side and a list of jobs -for DH-- to do around the house on the other side. In the middle is random things the DC will need at school that week.
People laugh at it (or that may be my retentive coloured pens for different tasks system smile) but it really works for us.
Personally I use my Filofax for daily stuff that needs to happen with a very high-tech post-it note stuck in to write on in busy weeks.
My MIL is much more technologically savvy and keeps all her stuff on her phone/tablet - she watched me the other day put something in my diary and said "pepper - are you actually writing that down?" - she was genuinely incredulous at my use of pen and paper...

raindaisy Fri 01-Nov-13 13:32:30

I have avoided decorating i have walls finished, door surrounds finished but the doors i keep leaving..its been over a year now but i always forget, or rather not look at lol i hate painting doors, i love buy wallpaper in the bargain aisle though maybe i should paper the doors...I also have a pipe in the bathroom that needs painting since they installed a new shower but i forget to that too. I also keep saying i will take all the old clothes down the charity shop they are sitting in bags just waiting but time comes and goes and more goes in but never gets done and usually they end up in the loft. Ah well new year resolutions i think..better make the list and put it up now. smile

CheekyChimpsMummy Fri 01-Nov-13 12:51:28

I always have multiple lists on the go. I also write lists for my hubby or nothing would ever get done. It stops me from having to ask a million times for him to do even the tiniest thing.

As for my lists, there's always something on there that needs to be done, I prioritise by doing things in order of fun (usually creative homework tasks with the LO or shopping) Housework and household tasks can stay on the list for weeks (sometimes months!)

mrsmika Fri 01-Nov-13 12:44:38

I have to-do lists all over the place! Ones in my phone with reminders to alert me, short term post it notes on the table to catch my attention and do, and a shopping one on the fridge. I even have one beside the bed in case I remember something in bed! I keep a 'packing for holiday' one from year to year and alter if needed.
I hate it when items on my list keep hanging around and feel satisfied when they are crossed off my list! I'm the same with emails in my inbox, as soon as they are done they have to be filed away or I feel stressed! I have so much running through my brain I have to write things down else I'd forget, illness and medication has contributed to that too.

Bubbles85 Fri 01-Nov-13 08:33:59

I always have multiple to do lists: one in the study, one on my phone and one on the fridge. Not sure why but I do like to have a list to hand when I think of something that needs doing. I seem to add more on to the lists than I manage to cross off since children have come on the scene (even before they are born!) Sometimes it stresses me and I suddenly feel the urge to do all of the tasks and I get a few crossed off at once. The best bit about all the lists is occasionally having to rewrite them when more is crossed off than not so it's easier to read, and that is sadly satisfying!

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