A Productivity Hack

by Katy on June 28, 2016 · 20 comments

To-do list sisters

Although I’m a fairly productive person, I’m always looking for ways to up my game. I have an apparent proclivity to fall into that rabbit hole called “the internet,” plus general laziness, especially after one of my exhausting 12-1/2 hour hospital shifts. But I recently came up with a genius and effective hack, which is:

My sister and I text our daily to-do lists to each other.

This forces us to create daily to-do lists, with an added bonus of accountability. Neither my sister nor I have anything to be embarrassed about with each other, so we can be completely transparent with each other. We’ve been doing the project for a week so far, and I’ve found that I’m doing much better tackling all those annoying small and medium tasks that can easily add up to crush a gal.

An added bonus is that we give each other positive reinforcement for dealing with stuff we’d otherwise be procrastinating. So it’s actually kind of fun.

I challenge you to find a close friend or family member and make them your productivity bitch partner!

C’mon, it’ll be fun!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth June 28, 2016 at 11:44 am

That’s a fantastic idea. I need to start making a to-do list in general…I used to when I was younger, and I LOVED checking things off the list!


Mrs. Picky Pincher June 28, 2016 at 11:49 am

Oooh cool idea! I’m addicted to my giant planner, which is super helpful. I know people prefer to use their phones nowadays for reminders and lists, but I think there’s just something to writing it on paper. Plus, when I complete a task, I get to cross it off my list. It’s oddly satisfying. But I think having a buddy is a great way to start being more productive. 🙂


JD June 28, 2016 at 11:54 am

I’m not a good list-er. Perhaps if I’d try it more, I’d be better at it, but I struggle so long to think what to put on my list — my mind just goes blank — that I waste half an hour creating it.
However, I do sometime “publish” a project I plan to do, to a friend or family member, and that definitely helps me get it done. Perhaps I could do that more, too. I think no one else in my circle makes a to-do list, either, but I can find out.
I’ll start by trying to make a list and see how that goes. Then I might try to share it, if I can make having a list work for me to start with. If it doesn’t work? No biggie, that would just mean that’s not how I roll.


Bee June 28, 2016 at 12:54 pm

I love that you and your sister hold eachother accountable for your to-do list. I am a list maker and my big sister is too. I could enlist her help, but she would be really tough on me!
I keep a list in a small spiral bound note book from the dollar store. The top 3 – 5 things on my list are always my priority items. However, I don’t put the things on my list that I do everyday — maybe I should I would feel much more productive.


Sarah June 28, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Cool! Curious as to how the tick box system works? Does each one represent an amount of time? Were you doing a HUGE amount of laundry on that day…


Katy June 28, 2016 at 1:31 pm

That’s for the four steps of laundry.

1) Put in wash
2) Hang laundry/dry
3)Fold laundry
4) Put laundry away


Betty Winslow June 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

I’ve been writing stuff on a white board that I keep on the kitchen table – it helps me remember events that are one-offs, but also reminds me what I meant to do that day AND (as I erase done items) it lets my hubby see what I’ve been up to. 🙂


Patti June 28, 2016 at 2:37 pm

I try to set goals for each week in my calendar/planner. I put what I want to accomplish for the house, what I want to sew, what I want to knit, and what I plan to read. That sounds silly, but I often get distracted and start other projects and this really helps me stay on task. I also make lists all the time on the side of my calendar (it has a “to do” spot). That is for the daily things I need to do like call the dentist or mail a package, etc. I LOVE to cross things off my list!!! I also write my lists of what I need to eat in the refrigerator on a side of my calendar, then plan my meals using that list and write them beside the days of the week. That helps when I run out of ideas – I can flip back and see what we have had and I even keep my last year’s calendar for seasonal help. But I don’t write down my usual tasks like you have (laundry, etc.). I guess I should do that, too, so I feel accomplished when I complete it!!


Marilyn June 28, 2016 at 3:06 pm

What a great idea. I have 2 sisters, so potentially a double check on my to-do list.


Lisa W. June 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm

My psychiatrist pretty much ordered me to do to -do lists. Not so much for productivity, but because apparently “you get a big dopamine hit” every time you cross something off. So far, I gotta say, she seems to be on to something.


Katy June 28, 2016 at 5:44 pm

Interesting. That might be why I enjoy all those little check-boxes.


Carla June 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm

I’m very “type A” so always have a list on the go… I give myself enough slack if I don’t get through it though.. LOL!! I do have a couple friends who I share my goals with though and they keep me on the ‘straight & narrow’!


IsabelI June 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

I must be getting a huge hit of dopamine! I have six books of lists and notes! I have been a list maker all my life! Gives me the feeling that I am keeping things that I can keep under control! Have never felt the need to share my lists with others! Super that the sharing works for Katy and her sister!


melanie June 28, 2016 at 9:11 pm

I feel exactly the same way as you do and have a pile of books with different lists & notes too, I’m actually quite OCD with my lists! Often I’ll write my daily to do list, then rewrite items in a ‘logical chronological order’ for doing them!!


Su Mama June 28, 2016 at 9:44 pm

“Dopamine hit,” eh? I DO get a kick out of drawing a line through even mundane tasks.

Am I the only one who writes down something I just did for the kick of crossing it off?


Kiki June 29, 2016 at 12:08 am

Su Mama,
no, you`re not the only one…;-P


Diane June 29, 2016 at 4:22 am

I like to think of summer as a lazy time. Even if you are working, on days off it’s OK to enjoy some laziness. Life goes by in the blink of an eye. Take time to enjoy your downtime.


Chris June 29, 2016 at 6:18 am

I’m a list maker from way back. Just recently discovered “Google Keep” and I love it. Simple, easy to use, elegant design. Does what it’s supposed to do without a lot of confusing bells & whistles and it’s FREE:


Lori June 29, 2016 at 8:30 am

I’m a little late reading this post, perhaps I need to start making a to do list too. I just wanted to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, and I can see my Sis and I having a good time with it, plus it give us an opportunity to stay in contact with each other when things get real busy. Thanks for sharing this idea, it’s a great one!


Theresa P. June 29, 2016 at 4:46 pm

I don’t plan on sharing it with anyone but I tried Katy’s checkbox system today and LOVED it. I felt so productive!! I started by writing a few things I’d just done and built on it from there. I do a lot of work from home so it helped keep me focused and feeling accomplished. Thank you for the inspiration and the nudge, Katy!


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