Have, Need, Want

Nope, this isn't a post about Christmas gifts that fall under the categories of want/need/wear/read - there are already plenty of great posts about that out there.  This is about list-making.  Specifically, what's been really working for me. 

I keep finding myself making lists that are miles long that get tucked away in pockets and corners never to be looked at again.  Sometimes I'm fine with that. The physical act of writng things down is enough to help me pull my brain back to some semblance of order.  But sometimes it just feels cyclical - I get out the paper, start making a list, starting adding allllllllll of the things I'd like to do, feel overwhelmed, turn the paper over and just start with one thing. 

When I was feeling especially overwhelmed recently, I decided to divide my list.  I know this isn't an earth-shattering idea and there are a million ways you could do it, but here's how I split it up: Have, Want, Need. 

As in:
::HAVE To Accomplish (for my own sanity) - picking up medicine at the pharmacy, getting the laundry done, writing and planning for this blog and making a wreath for the front door
::NEED To Get Done (in the immediate future) - planning and making dinner tonight,  work on our budget and bills, vacuum, return library books, get doormats so that everyone stops tracking everything inside, put our basement shelves back together after I tore them apart getting out Christmas decorations 
::WANT To Do Soon (but won't kill me if it never happens) - make banister garland, cranberry bars, toffee and and window swags

Typically, the stuff on the Want list is what I go to when I feel so overwhelmed and know I can't accomplish everything and it's kind of become a habit.  I do the things that are more fun and interesting and the stuff that needs to actually happen falls by the wayside and laundry piles up and everything is a hot mess.  

So dividing things up into things I need to do to stay sane and stuff that just needs to happen helps - I look to those lists first now and it helps to keep things in perspective.  My life will go on if I skip window swags, and would also go on if I don't make a wreath, but I *really* wanted to make a wreath this year just because I've never made one, so that made the list of things I need to do for my own sanity, but will still have to wait until after I get some laundry done and make a plan for dinner and make sure that our bills are planned for and our budget is rolling along how it needs to be.  

How do you sort out your to-do lists? Are you a list-maker? 

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