Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
I recently went on vacation. Vacation for an extended period, for me, means that I have to do prep work to ready the house and animals for the absence. I know I’ve written before how I cannot rely on my memory for any accuracy with a list of things, so I have to have a checklist.
I’ve been using a written checklist for years. I have a printed piece of paper in a sheet protector, and I would check things off using a dry-erase marker. When I needed to add things to the list, I’d write them in on the protector, or I’d draw a line on the plastic to eliminate things. But a paper list is hard to transport and prone to smudges. This makes it difficult to use, particularly if I want to take care of things on my lunch hour
The latest version of the checklist is actually in Remember The Milk. I thought I would share how I use (and re-use) this.
Make a List
The first version of the list started with my paper list. I put down everything that needed to be done before a trip, removing and adding items as necessary.
Since the actions have to happen before the trip, I put down for each task when it needed to be done, relative to departure. Things to be done the day of departure got a (0d), things the day before got a (-1d), and so on.
Enter in RTM
I set up a permanent list for my trip items, named (not very creatively TRIP) and entered the items. I typed in the name of the item, the time frame, and in the notes put any other information (like kennel phone number).
My list looks like this: (this is a partial sample)
- Take out garbage (0d)
- Empty compost (0d)
- Lock garage (0d)
- Adjust heat/air (0d)
- Set up timers (-1d)
- Empty fridge (-1d)
- Ask M to water outside plants (-2d)
- Water plants (-1d)
- Hold mail (-7d)
- Hold newspaper (-7d)
- Set up kennel (-21d)
- Set up cat sitter (-21d)
Using The List
About a month before the trip is scheduled to occur, I go into RTM and set the due dates on everything based on the trip departure and the lead time I have noted. The items then show up on the appropriate day along with my regular to-do items.
This little method has really saved me a lot of frustration in the past two trips. I have not forgotten to do anything, and it has lifted the strain of getting ready quite a bit.
How do you make sure you get everything done for trips? Let us know below.
Photo by goosmurf