Saturday, 24 March 2012

My favourite new book of lists

These days I'm really big on lists. I always have been, but now I feel like I'm really getting back into them -I've got daily to-do lists, weekly chore lists, and lifetime goal lists.

My mum always tells me how I was always scheduling my time as a young girl -I'd list the things I had to do each day and the time I'd do them. It just seemed fun to me, to write out what was to be done and to work my way through it all. When I got into highshool I loved my timetable -another list of places to be and things to do.

When I worked in an office organising overseas shipments of goods, lists were my best friend too. I was praised for my efficiency and for never forgetting anything -but it was all down to lists. Each day I would write out every single outstanding thing that needed to be written or done, and I'd work my way through it in priority order. I'd put a normal box to be ticked on most items and on the really urgent items I'd circle the tick box and add a star if it could not be forgotten for a second, so that every time I looked at the page on my desk the most important item would stand out. I'd never finish a whole page of items in a day, but I always had it in front of me, what needed to be done, and it gave me a clear picture of where I was headed. It also served to give me a great feeling of achievement and spur me on to the next task, as gradually more and more of the page would be ticked off and highlighted. -a friend at another job had taught me that, highlighting things as they were done. It was like giving myself a star and it made colours where achievements had been made.

Now, I love a to-do list for the housekeeping. I have a large, unlined book that I write everything in. Whether it's an address I need later in the week or a list of dusty places I need to clean (hi, under the fridge, I'm getting to you...), I have it all there. I'm going to keep the book afterwards too, to see what I've achieved this year. Perhaps the book will only last until June (it's almost halfway full already) but it'll be a nice little keepsake of this period of time as a mum and a housekeeper.

If I'm making a to-do list I might list places to be cleaned on one page, and errands on another. My errands always take longer to do anyway.... I might write 2 errands and not do them for a week or so. I have a daily to-do on the fridge that I use either for errands or food staples we need. Like "Milk" and "Send a card to Clare". That keeps it in my mind's eye every time I go into the kitchen. I check back and see what's in my notebook of listings when I am on the go. I might list that I have to wash up even though of course I will do that anyway, simply because the sense of achievement at seeing more things ticked off at the end of the day is well worth writing it. I also have things now like "Tidy kid's clothes" and "sort clothes for donation" -something in me recently cannot get enough of the decluttering bug. I want less, less, less!! That's good but sometimes I want to declutter things that I actually need!!

I've been sick the last week and so haven't been doing much in the way of decluttering or changing the house in any way. I'm still just sweeping all the time and moving miniscule particles of fluff out of my now crawling baby's reach -that's keeping me busy enough. I did make a few lists a couple of weeks ago but it killed me to see them untouched, no achievements made. I can't wait to get back to my little rabbit though -my book of lists!!! It's so tempting to look but I dare not til I have all my strength.

Do you use lists in your life?

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