With more tasks on my plate than I’ve got time in the day to complete them, and a little trouble prioritizing and juggling, I’m thinking I might need help forming new habits so I don’t feel so overwhelmed all the time. If that sounds familiar, you need the Habit List app, which has really helped me get on track.
Habit List is more than a to-do list, and more than a daily reminder — though you can use it in both of those ways. Create a list of tasks, touch and drag them in order of priority, and set how often each one should be completed. Based on your set priorities and schedule, a list of tasks will show up each day — green tasks to be done that day, grey tasks that are optional, and red tasks where you’ve gotten behind. (Whoops.)
For example, my task Make Bed is set for every day–because yes, I need a reminder–but my task Mop Kitchen is set for every 5-7 days. That means Make Bed pops up on my list in green every day (right at the top, because I’ve made it a high priority), but Mop Kitchen shows up grey on Day 5 and turns green on Day 7. And of course it’s not limited to household chores. You can set specific times for TV watching, calling one friend a day, managing email, posting on a blog, and of course it’s perfect for setting up and sticking to fitness routines.
Habit List also lets you skip a task without breaking your streak. Say you’re supposed to work out every day, and you’ve got a two week streak going, but you wake up sick. Instead of going into the red, you can opt to skip Work Out that day and resume your streak when you feel better. No penalty for illness, vacation, or the general craziness of life that sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions.
That sort of flexibility is one big reason I love Habit List. Because who really manages to adhere to a strict schedule of anything at all, especially with all the curveballs that kids throw into the mix?
One thing I really wish Habit List would allow is the option to look at my list in coming days. Right now it’s tough to plan ahead; if today’s list only shows two green tasks and eight grey ones, but tomorrow six of those eight grey tasks will turn green and need to get done that day it would be smart to know in advance.
I think this might be made a little for those not inclined to skip tasks, and stay on schedule day to day. If you happen to be a super fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type person (no judgment), this is probably too rigid an app for you. But if you need to tighten up your time management, even in a few small ways to start, I love how Habit List keeps me focused when I’ve got tasks to accomplish. But my favorite thing about this app? Crossing off every last task for the day so that I can relax with impunity.