Works for Me Wednesday – Long lists

Updated below:

I’ll tell you what I’m doing today and it Works for Me!

I’m making a looong to do list for the upcoming week and feeling great about it!!!

The longer the list the better!


I know, I know, some of you are thinking this lady is nuts, why would she be excited about a long list when a shorter list is what we are all after during this busy busy time. Now before you think I’ve gone off the looney edge I want to tell you that the best way I know to get things done and feel like I’m actually making headway is to create a very long detailed list! Detailed being the key word here. In other words I don’t write general lists because boy it would take days before I could cross anything off and then I’d just feel depressed. Longer detailed lists keep me from getting overwhelmed because I can cross off many more accomplishments as I go along. So no matter how small the item is that I’m crossing off, I feel good and when I feel good, I do more!

Let me give you an example using Christmas cards (although thankfully I did finish mine last week):

General list:

do Christmas cards


Detailed list:

purchase stamps

print off address labels

put address labels on envelopes

put return labels on envelopes

write Christmas letter

print off Christmas letter

fold Christmas letters

take Christmas card photo

eat chocolate

print off Christmas card photos

write greeting on Christmas cards

stuff Christmas cards with letter

stuff Christmas cards with photo

seal Christmas cards

put stamps on Christmas cards

mail Christmas cards

eat more chocolate

Well you get the idea. I normally do my Christmas cards over a couple of weeks so if I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could cross Christmas cards off my list I’d be miserable. Using a detailed list I can usually check at least one thing off a day as I find the time….it totally makes the whole task more manageable for me. Oh yes, long detailed lists Work for Me!!!!!

An Ordinary Mom made an excellent point in her comment. She said she likes to make detailed lists to help her mind relax and she feels and sleeps better knowing she doesn’t have to remember everything because it’s all written down. I definitely would have to agree with this because I fall asleep every night the minute my head hits the pillow. There is something to be said for emptying the brain of all the things we try to keep track of in a day. One suggestion is to carry your list around with you or keep it beside the bed to jot things down if you are having trouble falling asleep. I’m getting older now, not to mention I have three kids, there is no way I could remember everything and so I don’t even try…I just write it down and move on. Whew, what a relief!

Go on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer to see more valuable time saving creative tips!!

Filed under: Lists


41 Responses to Works for Me Wednesday – Long lists

  1. 1
    Neighbor Jane Payne says

    That’s a good idea! You’re right…waiting two or three weeks to mark off a task can get discouraing.

  2. 2
    Julie in Texas says

    I love the part telling you to eat chocolate!

    I understand the need to check off something each day, this way you might have a chance to check off several items.

  3. 3
    Larae says

    I’m a detailed list writer too! I love being able to cross off little things, even “eating chocolate” 😉 Great idea =) Happy Holidays!

  4. 4
    Valkyrie says

    OMG that’s exactly what I do! I have to stop myself getting too anal about it though, like a go to post office, buy stamps, get back in car… etc haha .

  5. 5
    Debs says

    I totally do this, although not quite so detailed! I just love writing lists, and it helps when you’re tired and need to check if you’ve done everything for the day 🙂

  6. 6
    Anonymous says

    I am loving the idea. I generally do a more generalized list, because if I get too detailed, I’m afraid I’d never get any work done. But I think if I just did a one-day specific list at a time or maybe even a one-week specific list, it would be good. Hmmm, maybe that will be today’s post! 🙂

  7. 7
    Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) says

    I’m a detail kind of gal, too. And I’m a chocolate loving kind of gal as well. An excellent combination.

  8. 8
    Anonymous says

    I have to use this in my classroom. I could have the kids write a long detailed list of their classwork or homework (say as handwriting practice.) I bet they would love to cross things off too. I’m goint to try this and see if the quality of the work improves. Very interesting motivational tool.

  9. 9
    aggiejenn says

    great idea! I LOVE to cross things off. The detailed part would work for me, too!

  10. 10
    Anonymous says

    I am a big fan of the list!! Sometimes I feel like I can’t get anything accomplished without one.

  11. 11
    Anonymous says

    I am a big fan of the list!! Sometimes I feel like I can’t get anything accomplished without one.

  12. 12
    Anonymous says

    I am a big fan of the list!! Sometimes I feel like I can’t get anything accomplished without one.

  13. 13
    Anonymous says

    Oh what a fun idea! I had never thought of doing something like that-except for times I was planning out an especially important day and maybe written details for every step of the day. 😉 This is great because it makes you realize how much you really did accomplish. When I finally got all our cards out, it felt like a huge accomplishment, but it was funny to see your list of all the steps that really go into it. Thanks for sharing!

  14. 14
    warpie says

    I do detailed lists too, but I might get too depressed if the first 2 items I crossed off were eat chocolate and eat more chocolate, which would be higly likely 😉

  15. 15
    Becky says

    Love it. I find I feel better doing detailed lists, too! Thanks for sharing. Merry Christmas!

  16. 16
    Barbara H. says

    Great idea — not only do you feel like you’ve accomplished something by being able to cross off the smaller tasks from your list — it also helps remind you about little things like getting stamps or printing decorative address labels before the last minute.

  17. 17
    momrn2 says

    I don’t know that I have ever gotten that detailed in my lists before. I’ll have to give it a try!

    Thanks for the great idea!

  18. 18
    Rachel says

    Oh, YEAH!! I LOVE crossing things off my detailed lists. Sometimes I even add something I forgot to put on it in the first place just so I can cross it off. 🙂

  19. 19
    Anonymous says

    I LOVE to create my detailed lists and cross things off of them as they are completed. Glad to know there are so many of us out there!

    However, I also like to make these lists because it helps my mind relax more. I feel and sleep better when I don’t have to remember everything because I have things written down. Quirky, I know, but it works for me!

  20. 20
    Anonymous says

    eat MORE chocolate

  21. 21
    purejoy says

    I absolutly LOVE lists as well! Sometimes I don’t even check things off! I just like making them!

  22. 22
    Anonymous says

    I’m so with you on this one! It feels so good to me knocking all those things off it motivates you to just keep on going!

  23. 23
    Anonymous says

    I can definitely relate! Lists are my specialty! can’t survive without them. I like your detailed version!


  24. 24
    Anonymous says

    I like to make lists and write down things I’ve already done so that I can cross something off immediately!

  25. 25
    Shalee says

    I’ve been known to write a finished thing on a list JUST to cross it off.

    Yep, I’m easy to please.

  26. 26
    Milehimama says

    We must think alike – I just posted a mile-long list on my blog yesterday!
    I list all of the details, because sometimes I can only devote 2-3 minutes to a job – I break it into very small chunks!

  27. 27
    Anonymous says

    You are so funny, but you’re right. I’ll try a loooong list next time.

  28. 28
    Anonymous says

    I’ll have to give this a try. I have been struggling with being productive lately and maybe it is because my lists aren’t specific enough.

    It is funny to read this today because I am reading a book (ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life)and I just read the chapter on lists. Their rule is no more than 5 items to a list. Now I’ll have to try it both ways and see which day I’m more productive.

    BTW, I love your blog–very inspiring!

  29. 29
    lani from the wooden porch says

    It’s midnight and I’m up because of all the crazy things I have to do still…

    I was just sitting down to make my list for tomorrow when I remembered you posted about this at Rocks. So I signed on to see what you had to say about it. I too feel much, much better when it’s all written down like that.

    I haven’t been here for awhile, so hello again. I’m leaving my link because I’m too tired to fight beta and sign in.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

  30. 30
    Anonymous says

    I love to see a kindred soul listmaker! I feel so much less stress when I have a detailed list because I know I won’t forget things. And the satisfaction derived from crossing something off is worth every minute it took to write the list!

    Elizabeth from

  31. 31
    Anonymous says

    WOW! I’ve made detailed lists before… but never THAT detailed! LOL I do it for the same reason, though. I like to see things get crossed off! Makes me feel more productive. 🙂

  32. 32
    Anonymous says

    Laura–I’m going to post some of my no-bake recipes tonight or tomorrow that I mentioned on Wednesday. . . .

  33. 33
    Catherine says

    I love the chocolate part!

    I am new to your blog and so glad to have found you!

    Love and God’s Blessings,

  34. 34
    Anonymous says

    There really is no way to remember everything. I am a Harry Potter fan and sometimes I wish I had Dumbledore’s Pensieve 🙂 !!

    P.S. Thanks for the link!

  35. 35
    Anonymous says

    I am so relieved someone else thinks like I do!

  36. 36
    Kristen says

    This is so good. Sometimes I make long lists just so I can cross things off. That keeps me motivated. I like the idea of being extra detailed.

  37. 37
    Donna says

    Yes! Yes! That’s what I do! I LOVE (big, bold, italic, flaming letters) to cross off items off my “to do” list! I have to empty my brain or all those little things will most certainly seep out and I’ll forget some highly important thing! I’ve also been known to forget to include something on my list and, after doing it, add it and THEN cross it right back off! hee hee

  38. 38
    Anonymous says


  39. 39
    Tina Smith says

    this is great, and i totally agree on the mental clutter part. i have started even keeping separate notebooks for projects that i know are going to get big–like when i plan an event (not a small family event, i mean like i organize large events at a local nonprofit for like 1-2000 people, so i need LOTS of space for ideas and lists of phone numbers to call, when i called them, who to get back to, who’s getting back to me, etc). it does get to be a pain after awhile because as it gets fuller its harder to find stuff but i comfort myself in knowing its ALL IN THERE. its not info that i need to find elsewhere, its ALL in that notebook. really makes a big difference for me. and actually at some point i find that going through old notes again and rewriting them more clearly and throwing out stuff i don’t need anymore works well to get it tidy again eventually.

    so i tend to keep a notebook for each subject i know i need to brainstorm and keep notes on. and the best time to buy notebooks is in september after the kiddos are back in school and notebooks are clearanced! found a bunch of really cool ones for less than a dollar each at target this year! 🙂 and they were good quality ones too!

  40. 40
    heather says

    i love it… because instead of crossing off one thing on your to do list your crossing off multiple things on your to do list and you realize how much it took to get that “one thing” done. im going to use this on my list of projects. this will so keep me motivated!


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