The follow up habit



My husband and I were taking a Jeep ride through the country last weekend. I noticed a couple houses still had their wreaths up. I figured it is probably less about no time to take it down and more about not noticing the wreath is still up.

I have gotten in the habit of asking myself at the end of any to do, "What is the follow up or next step?"

So when the Christmas decorations go up, I also calendar when they come down.

If I write someone, I put in my calendar when I need to follow up with them.

If I have to stop in the middle of a project, I write down the next step for the next day I plan on doing the project.

When I put the clothes in the washer, I make sure I use the timers soclothes get all the way from washing to drying to folding to put away.

When I get off a call, I immediately write down the action steps in my to do list before they fall out of my brain.

It takes a few seconds to write down the next step or the followup, right after you do something. Much easier than fumbling with your memory trying to recall what you were going to do next. Or worse, never remember you were going to follow up until something gets way behind.

Life has too many moving parts for me to rely on my memory. Why don’t you try this out and see how it works for you?


Wreath photo by Ms.Tea



  • dmarie says:

    Timing is super important for me. If I don’t put out my Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, I will never get around to it. If I don’t take down my Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day, it won’t happen until the tinsel and stockings are haunting me. If I don’t do my taxes the second I have all the paperwork together, it will be April 15th and I will be freaking out. If I don’t do my dishes every night, I won’t be able to use the sink by Friday because there will be piles and piles. It’s funny, people think I have it “together” because I’m always doing things like this, my house is cleaned, I’m super responsible, prompt, etc. What they don’t know, is that it’s done out of complete fear because I know myself; I am not naturally any of these things. Left to my own devices, my life would be a disaster.

  • Lisa Krushinski says:

    Fantastic idea that I plan to implement immediately!

  • Maree Crosbie says:

    Thank you Beth, seemingly simple but extremely effective.

  • Maree Crosbie says:

    Thank you Beth, seemingly simple but extremely effective.

  • Maggie says:

    My worst is the laundry. I’ve set the timer for the 45 minutes it takes my washer to wash but then I get busy, the timer goes off and I forget the clothes are in there. Like last night. A load still in the dryer and one more in the washer. So, will have to try your method and keep the list in my pocket so I won’t forget.

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