This is the fifth (and final) organizing misconception I feel the need to "debunk".
It is the idea that just by writing things down, they will get done. The truth is, you can write things down all you want, but if you don't act on the items you jot down, they will never get done.
One of my former clients was a stay-at-home mom and loved to make lists. She had To Do lists, lists of movies she'd wanted to see, lists of chores she wanted to complete, a list of friends she wanted to contact and many other lists too numerous to mention.
The lists were good but here's the problem. She never got anything done on her lists. She felt that writing them down was enough. However, it's only the first step.
I think having lists is wonderful and you should definitely keep them. They are a great way of getting ideas from your head onto paper and relieving the stress of having to remember everything. I use them all the time.
However, YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY DO THE THINGS ON YOUR LIST.
I suggest that you schedule time daily, weekly and monthly to accomplish these tasks. Some things take more time to accomplish so they can remain on a list for the month, with the idea that at the end of the month, the task is completed. Put several movies on your list to schedule time to see throughout the month. Don't overload the list so that the task is not achievable. It needs to be reasonable in order to achieve it.
Some items can be done within the week and you can schedule time in your week to knock them off your list. I suggest doing similar tasks together - such as running all errands at the same time, returning phone calls at the same time, paying bills at the same time, etc.
Some things need to be done by the end of the day. If they are urgent, get them done!
Refer to your lists often and knock off as many things on your "To Do" list as possible. You need to make a conscious effort to work on the lists that you create otherwise they just become lists and nothing more. That is not productive and will just become frustrating when the lists grow and grow.
The ultimate goal is to get the tasks done.
With the help of a professional organizer, you can learn how to best utilize those lists and create time to get them done. As an expert in time management, I show my clients the quickest, most effective ways to best utilize that "To Do" list and other types of lists they wish to have.
If you have any questions about this topic or have any other organizing problems you would like me to address, simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Have a great week!