Creating your Master Project List

There are many reasons to create a master project list, the central repository for all your “to do” list items, immediate and low priority ones. Read on to learn why and how to create one such list.

Creating your Master Project List |


  1. Serves as the repository for ALL the organizing, household, and other tasks you need (or would like) to do
  2. Helps you prioritize what REALLY needs to be done, what you’d like to get to sometime in the next couple months, and what you would like to do in a perfect world of endless time
  3. Forces you to be realistic about the sheer amount of things you’d like to accomplish in the limited amount of time you have
  4. Makes you aware of how many projects you’ve already started (and not yet finished)


When you’re writing your list, treat it like a “brainstorming session” or “brain dump.” Write down everything you can possibly think of that you need (or would like) to accomplish this season or year. Even if you KNOW you can’t possibly accomplish a particular task or project this year, write it down anyway. Remember, this is your central repository for ALL the tasks you’d like to accomplish. It is a living document that will change over time.


Before you prioritize your list, take a look at it. It is enlightening and relieving to realize that you can’t possibly accomplish all the things that are “on the list” in the limited amount of time that you have to work on such tasks.   Many people feel like they are not accomplishing as much as they’d prefer. With your Master Project List created, you may come to realize expectations were unrealistic. Making your master list that includes everything helps you “get real” about what you would like to do versus what you actually have time to accomplish. You might have to make tough decisions. In my case while “learn Italian” remains on my master list, it resides toward the bottom as it’s more of a desire than a need.


First Priority
• Things which have an imminent deadline (i.e. bills)
• Things which will save you money (i.e. putting bills on auto-pay to avoid late fees) Things which will save you time (i.e. organizing your system so that you can locate important documents quickly and easily)
• Things which will simplify or improve family life (i.e. creating an age-appropriate chore chart and rewards systems)   2nd Priority Things which would make your life easier but are not as time sensitive as 1st Priority tasks 3rd Priority
• Things which would make you happy and are personally fulfilling but not required for day-to-day living BA-HUMBAG?   You may have noticed that the 3rd Priority listings are the things that are the most fun and enjoyable. This is true. If we don’t prioritize properly, we will end up doing these things first. Why? Because we WANT to do these things (we don’t necessarily NEED to do them).

But if I choose to read Jane Austen instead of doing my taxes (“Pride and Prejudice” is so much more interesting and so much less stressful), I will ultimately suffer as a result.


Every day you manage to do the things you want to do. If you love to read, you manage to fit time in for that. If you are an avid e-mailer, you always find time to check your e-mail. If you are a fan of sitcoms or Cable news, you make a habit of catching your shows. Tackling your project list requires discipline. It might mean forgoing or postponing doing more pleasurable tasks in order to complete more tedious ones. You’ve got your project list. Now make a plan! Even if it’s devoting only five minutes a day to your first priority projects, at the end of the week, you’ll have over a half hour chalked up. At the end of the month, you’ll have completed over two hours. And you’ll think “hmmm…that wasn’t so bad!” Here’s to your organized life!

Nancy Nino of Nancy Organizes! strives to achieve a life well-lived and a life well-organized, for both herself and her clients. Working many years in event planning, Nancy has a knack for detail, efficiency, and the “aesthetics of organization.” While adept at home organization and de-cluttering, Nancy currently focuses on home office organization where she assists clients in setting up workflow systems that can be maintained long term. Nancy recognizes organization to be a component of one’s overall wellness: organization has a great positive impact on a person’s quality of life, leading to more time, less stress, and greater joy! For more information, visit

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