I am a list maker. I can’t remember if I always have been, but at a particular summer job my boss would give new employees a notebook that you brought to every meeting. You took notes in this notebook and when there was an action that you were to perform, you would not it and then put a box beside it. When you finished the task, you would check the box. She would occasionally look at our notebooks.

When I was in university I generally carried around an extra notebook, along with all my class-related notes, and I would doodle, brainstorm and journal in this notebook, and I also would make lists with a box beside each task that I could check when I was done.

After we got engaged, I entered my last year of university. I also had a job at the student newspaper that could take up a good deal of my time, and I was trying to plan a wedding while also losing weight for said wedding. My to-do lists and notes became very important in my time management system.

I actually created a checklist on my computer and printed out the sheets into a binder of my weekly tasks, and check every task that got done on each day. I knew I had to exercise at least three times a week, I tried to drink green tea every day, all of these things would get checkmarks and I would know what I was doing well and what was left to do.

I am now in a place where I think I need to get back to my system. I need to eat better and exercise so I have more energy (and less heartburn), I need to map my time better so that I’m not always paying attention to two things at once. I need to be smarter about how I organize myself. I’ve done it before.

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