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To Do Lists Become Review Lists

October 8, 2013

Written by Marykate O’Malley, mother of three wonderful children, Gladwyne, PA


I am a doer – busy bee – always has a lot going on – that is my natural pace. We all have our hard wiring to some extent and I am simply built this way, and happy this way. I also believe that down time is so important and I make sure my kids have that essential and critical time to simply play. As for me my play is writing, so yes I do schedule (note the use of schedule) time to unwind (by doing something = busy bee).

The down side to this is that I always have a mental to do list. And it never ends. Something falls off, three things are added. Some of that is me, some of that is life. And so I find I leave for bus every weekday morning thinking – I didn’t send that email, I didn’t run the dishwasher, I didn’t leave out food for the ahem “stray” cat, and it goes on and on.

What I don’t say is – I woke up – did 2 loads of laundry, packed 3 lunches, packed 3 snacks, fed my children, directed them to dress, eat, clear their dishes, loaded the dishwasher, started dinner AND somehow managed to get myself ensembled and out the door by just after 8.

Why do I do that to myself?? Is it me? Do we all do this?


I could get SO much done with 8 arms – find this cute “to do” list on etsy


So I am starting a personal experiment. I am flipping the “to do” into a “review”. Because I like things that rhyme.

I still have my to do lists – I couldn’t survive without them.  But, I am flipping it – instead of reviewing what I didn’t do as I leave the house, I am reviewing what I did. A little pat on the back, way to go Mom, check yourself out girlfriend! We all need that. And I am finding celebrating these little victories feels so much better that – ugh, I didn’t get to that email. Review your to do! One week in and it is sticking like glue. (told you I like things that rhyme).


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