Are your quarantine days starting to fade together? If you feel overwhelmed by the lack of normal structure and routine, a checklist can help.
Social distance affects everyone differently. You may still be working, but with protective gear and precautions that make it feel anything but normal. You may be struggling through an unexpected transition to working from home. Or maybe you are suddenly unemployed, with a lot of free time but no lack of stress.
Whatever happens, a checklist can help you maintain a sense of structure and normality. It's a gentle way to remind yourself to publish the news and do something necessary ̵
Why create quarantine lists?
We know that you are probably tired of hearing people tell you to use your quarantine time productively. While some are now delving into work and personal projects, many struggle to get things done when life feels so strange.
However, a checklist is not about becoming more productive. The point is to structure what you already do (or want to do) in a more approachable way. Instead of losing all day with mindless scrolling on the phone, a checklist helps you achieve what you wanted to do that day – be it two things or 20.
Plus, a checklist helps life a bit feel more normal. Most of us are used to structure – commuting, workday start and end times, regular weekly gatherings with friends. But at the moment, those normal structures are either hugely disrupted or completely gone. With a checklist, your days won't feel as much as vague, confusing blurring.
Even in ordinary times, a checklist is a great tool for organizing your tasks. There is a reason The checklist manifest is such a popular productivity book. As the author points out, our modern workplace responsibilities are often more complex than ever. With a checklist, you can break down complicated tasks into simple, individual steps so that nothing is missed.
The video below provides a good summary of the book.
But even if your quarantine responsibilities don't seem particularly complicated – perhaps you're not a surgeon or aircraft mechanic, like the two examples in the book – a checklist can still help. In such stressful times, simple tasks like remembering the laundry or ordering cleaning supplies can become overwhelming. In addition to normal responsibilities, you may have unexpected new tasks, such as helping your children navigate the online school or filling unemployment claims.
Basically, even if your schedule looks more open right now, you probably still have a lot to do — and a checklist will make it easier.
How to Make Your Checklists Work
The simple act of writing down tasks can make quarantine life more manageable. However, for best results, try these practical checklist tips.
Splitting large tasks
A checklist takes the standard to-do list concept a step further. Rather than just writing down what to do, a checklist involves splitting larger tasks into individual steps. This makes it much more approachable.
For example, if one thing on your to-do list is to do your taxes, you don't just want to & # 39; do taxes & # 39; to write. Instead, create a tax checklist that includes each step, such as & # 39; collect tax paper & # 39 ;, & # 39; download tax software & # 39; and & # 39; tax on files & # 39 ;.
These comprehensive checklists can be valuable for repetitive tasks, so make sure you save them. They prove to be even more valuable for rare tasks (such as filing your taxes). Instead of trying to remember the details year after year, just refer to your list every tax season.
Writing down simple things as well
While complicated tasks clarify the need for a checklist, writing down your most basic responsibilities can also be helpful.
When you are stressed or anxious, you tend to become more forgetful. This allows you to forget even simple things. If your checklist includes tasks like & # 39; start dinner & # 39 ;, & # 39; wash dishes & # 39; or & # 39; call sister & # 39;, don't lose sight of what to do. In addition, the structure can make every day less overwhelming.
Including fun activities
Doing things that you enjoy is now also important. If it feels right to you, try writing fun activities on your checklist in addition to your responsibilities. You won't be so tempted to waste hours on your phone if you write down "start a new book" or "do a YouTube art tutorial."
Using technology as needed
If you are a pen and paper type, writing a checklist by hand is great. However, there are plenty of digital checklist tools you can use if that's more your style.
Download an app such as Checklist or TickTick to try digital checklists. The templates and structure can be useful if you've never used checklists before.
Really checking things off
The most important part of using a checklist is actually checking off things.
First, this will make you refer back to your list to see if you've forgotten something. But more importantly, when you check off your list, you get a little dopamine boost that will motivate you to keep going.
That's right, when you check things off, you feel really good. This creates a positive cycle in which the more you get done, the more you want to do.
Checklists can be useful at any time in life. But right now, with so many sudden and strange changes in the world, we need checklists more than ever. Whether you want to reach big projects or just try to follow the daily minimum, now is the time to create a checklist and find out how much it helps.