Reclaiming My Love Affair with the To-Do List (and a peek inside today’s list)

The Simplest, Most Effective, Guilt-Free To-Do List ...Ever

Daily life has been a little more tricky to manage since summer has begun. Last week Drew had surgery to remove the rods from his leg so we weren’t able to go outside or leave the house. That led to my having to be a little more intentional about how I spent my time.

I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of girl anyway.

So I dusted off a good habit I’ve just gotten too lazy to do of late: my to-do list. But this time, instead of having every day of the week mapped out already, I made it simpler. Each morning, I simply wrote down 5-6 things I’d like to accomplish that day. It seems that morning is when my mind swirls with “gotta-do’s,” and instead of letting them create chaos in my head (and unrealistic pressure on myself which makes me become control-freak mom), I decided to just write them down.

I know it seems too simple, but I was amazed at how smooth my days have gone after doing this one thing. I get more done and feel more accomplished.

How has it made life easier?

  • I don’t put things on the list that I don’t think I can realistically get done; things that can wait get put off until tomorrow.
  • I’m more motivated to complete short tasks instead of taking “quick” social media breaks.
  • My kids see my list (and they have their own), so we all work on our own chores together. The nag factor and the boredom in the home has decreased dramatically.

So what’s on my to-do list today?

Process tomatoes. My Roma tomatoes are bearing 3-4 pounds per day, so I have to keep up with making them into sauce while they’re fresh. Today, with the kids’ help, I was able to process almost 2 quarts in about 45 minutes.


Freeze cucumbers. My cucumbers are bearing well, too, and I have a frozen cucumber recipe from a friend that I LOVE. Since the processing of the tomatoes took the time it did, I haven’t completed that task yet, but I hope to after the nap/rest time.

Make menu plan. Last week Kroger had such a good sale that I bought all sale items instead of menu planning first. So I needed to plan our meals this week with what I already have in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. That took less than 5 minutes but now I’m set for the week!

Garden. I found a fantastic author/blogger, Melissa K. Norris, who gives GREAT resources on homesteading. During one of her podcasts, she made a simple statement on how to keep up with the garden: Do a little every day. It seemed so simple but since I’ve been making that commitment – to do something in the garden 30 minutes – 1 hour each day (except Sundays) – I’ve noticed a real difference in how my garden has been looking. Today I did weeding in my melon patch while Alyssa and Drew picked blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and tomatoes.

Clean toilets. Just because…yeah.


Create promo for the couponing/grocery savings class in MOMs next week. Next week I’m excited to be presenting my couponing/saving money on groceries class to the MOMs class I teach. I want to create something that the other MOMs can share online so perhaps others might be interested in coming. I haven’t finished that one yet but am hoping to during nap time.

See, isn’t that pretty simple? Admittedly, I can be a slave to a to-do list but in this case it is working to my advantage. I’m not putting on too much, and I’m giving myself a break when I’m done. I don’t keep adding on tasks. That has enabled me to have a smoother, more productive day, with plenty of time to enjoy my kiddos.

What about you? What tools do you use to manage your household, particularly in the summer?



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