I confess.

I’m a list person. If it’s not on my list, I don’t do it.

It’s my way of making sure I’m accountable and focused on what needs to be accomplished. It’s also a way for me to avoid impulsive buying.

Yes, I’ve been described as very organized. It’s the only way to manage my hectic life. I have lists for things I need to do in my business, lists for things to do in my personal life, even lists for my community work.

My business lists include things I need to do for marketing, clients, and general administration. My personal lists include things I need to buy for my home or projects I need to do around the house. My community work lists include each organization I’m involved with and what I need to do before the next meeting.

Back in the day before smartphones, I used to keep my lists in a day planner. It was a large bulky notebook which at times was cumbersome to walk with, especially when going shopping.

Now, I use Evernote for my multiple lists. In this way, it’s easy to access on my mobile, tablet, or laptop. There are other apps which help you stay organized – this one works best for my needs.

Over the years, I’ve learned to keep items on my list doable and specific. Instead of writing “paint guest room,” I’ve broken that task into smaller steps: pick paint color, purchase tools, prep room, paint. In this way, I can tackle each step on separate days or I can combine steps depending on my available time.

Similar to many people, I have things on my list which have moved to the bottom as other priorities take importance. Unfortunately, these tasks continue to be at the bottom of my list. After looking at the same tasks for several years, I decided to make a change.

I printed out my list and cut each task into strips. Some tasks are broken down into smaller steps. I folded each strip and placed them in a box. Every week, I pull out a strip from my box. I now have to complete that task during the week.

This change may sound silly to some but it adds a little fun to the process. Some tasks are dreaded – that’ why I kept moving them to the bottom of the list. Even though I dreaded these tasks, they still needed to be done — that’s why they were on my list.

What do you do to ensure you get things done – even the dreaded tasks?

Yes – I want more tips about money + life   >

Niv PersaudNiv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature, and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”