Your task list can feel like a ball and chain around your ankle or it can help you to get more accomplished than you ever dreamed possible. Here’s how you can make yours more efficient.
Share Your List with Others
If you’ve got other people offering to help, take them up on that. Share your task list, either electronically or otherwise, with friends and family members and homecare providers. This allows them to see what there is to do and how they can best help you to do what needs to be done. You might find that this is easiest with an electronic calendar that includes a task list option.
Give Yourself Room for Notes
Wherever you keep your master task list, make sure that you also have room for notes. With an electronic task list, you can usually attach notes which makes them much easier to update. If you’re sharing your task list, you can also password protect the notes if you need to keep that information private. With a paper task list, make sure that you leave space to the side of the list for any notes you might need to make.
Delegate with Due Dates
When you do delegate a task, include a deadline with the assignment. This gives you a date and a time when you should expect that task to be completed and if you’re near that point, you can ask for an update. If you’ve already got a deadline for that task, don’t forget to give the person you assign the task to a shorter deadline than your own. That gives you a little more time.
Prune Your List Regularly
Your master task list is likely to grow by leaps and bounds. There never seems to be any shortage of things that need to get done if you’re a caregiver. But if you go through and prune your list regularly, you can keep a better handle on what really needs to be done and what has been handled already. You might even find that some tasks either took care of themselves or no longer need completing.
Make Your List Portable
The more portable your list is, the better. When you can take it with you wherever you go you have the opportunity to check it, to add to it, and to update it wherever you are. This is another way that an electronic task list can be incredibly helpful for you, because you can usually access it via your smartphone. Even a task list kept in your paper planner can be portable, too.
The whole point of your task list is to help you make sure you don’t forget anything that needs to get handled. It doesn’t have to rule your life, though, so don’t let it.