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Make lists, Not War

by Libby Alpert

MyBeadBox was an idea that sparked as a practical solution to the everyday challenge of getting out of the door while looking decent and like I put a bit of effort into what I was wearing. All this after getting 3 kids fed and ready for school. 

Just like MyBeadBox was created as a functional solution, from time to time, I’d like to share other practical ideas, life hacks and suggestions that I feel can be beneficial to us all. 

For starters, I would like to discuss a favorite life hack of mine called “making lists” and I will demonstrate how this hack can be incorporated into your day-to-day to improve your productivity, efficiency, and organization. 

Make lists

Corvid-19 time has brought the whiteboard back into use in my home, big time. 

What for? To make lists…

What kind of lists?

  1. Tasks at home
  2. School tasks
  3. Workouts
  4. And hangman (a great pastime).

Here’s how my whiteboard worked during Corvid-19 time:

School tasks:

Quarantine was especially challenging as we were getting messages from my children's schools via email, through quite a few WhatsApp groups and Google Classroom. I needed one place to consolidate all the information so that my kids could see all their tasks clearly. That's when I pulled out my handy dandy whiteboard to make daily lists for school tasks, homework, and after school activities.

It was delightfully surprising to see that only after 2 days of creating the lists, my 10-year-old daughter started adopting the habit of making her own lists before going to bed. 

What a win!

Working out:

As my kids went from being very active to being couch potatoes, I took matters into my own hands and made sure they started working out. I made a list of activities (interval training) on the whiteboard and started working out with them. Having a workout listed on the whiteboard meant that my son could go back and review his personal list and do his workout daily without me having to tell him to do so. 

It also gave him a chance to add exercises that he wanted to do, like bouncing a tennis ball on a racket or adding pull-ups to his workout. Exercise time was flexible and dynamic and each child got his/her own workout list.

My habit of list making predates the Corvid-19 time, but this period allowed me to put my long time skills to use.

Online list tools

We use lists for a bunch of things; for projects, for food shopping, and simply for things we need to get done. There are plenty of tools out there that can be used directly on your phone or on your computer, like a virtual whiteboard. 

Here is a helpful list of some free tools that I find useful:

  1. Google Keep Notes (for the simple lists of daily life) 
  2. Trello (more for projects)
  3. Excel 
  4. Google Sheets
  5. Wunderlist
  6. Todoist
  7. Workflowy
  8. And there are plenty more

When my head is overloaded with thoughts, or when I need to buy a few things, I run to my lists (on my phone) to jot down some notes so I don’t forget what I need.

My advice is to: Use lists, use them well, use them to delegate, use them to make room in your head, use them to get organized, use them to be practical and productive.

Happy list-making!