Tuesday, 28 January 2014

My Complicated Lists (for an easier life)

To-do lists. I love them. I've written them for as long as I can remember. I love the feeling of crossing things off. The feeling of accomplishment. Which is why I always add things I know I'm going to do anyway - like take my vitamins - just for the pleasure of crossing it off. Believe me, when you have changed five diapers and it isn't even lunch yet, it's nice to realize you actually have accomplished more than changing diapers.
Often I have lists in my head. Sunday morning are famous "head list" times for me. I'm getting ready for church and I'm thinking, "Okay, I still need to brush my teeth. Oh, put my watch on. The diaper bag needs more diapers, I think. Perfume, don't forget perfume." Then I abbreviate it for myself so I can remember it all. Now my head sounds like this, "Teeth, watch, perfume, diapers." I say it over and over. As I do something I drop it off the list. Usually I've thought of something else by then so I tag it on to the end of the list. It drives me crazy and keeps me sane at the same time. If that makes sense. ☺

My notebook system is rather awkward, but it works for me so that's what's important, right? First of all, I have a notebook that I keep my yearly type lists in. Lists like what our grain order is year to year. It's nice to have a record of what I ordered so I know how to adjust it. This year I know I need to order more spelt and steel cut oats than I did last year. I will plan out curriculum in this notebook or our vacation.

My next notebook is an address book at the front. It's nice to have phone numbers handy. In the notebook part I make out a list every week - either Sunday night or Monday morning - of what I want to accomplish that week. I use this notebook while filling in my third notebook. I told you this was awkward. ☺

My third and final notebook is my daily notebook. Nearly every morning I sit down with my weekly and daily notebook. I review my goals for that week and figure out how I'm going to move closer to accomplishing those goals. For instance, if my weekly goal is "sew a dress for Elisabeth" my daily goals will look something like this: Monday - "cut out fabric"; Tuesday - "sew bodice"; Wednesday - "attach skirt"; Thursday - "buttons and hem". If I just wrote sew Elisabeth's dress in my daily notebook that would be too overwhelming. Very rarely do I have the time to sit down and sew a dress in one sitting, but I can  do a bit every day. Every day I'm crossing something off my to-do list that leaves me a step closer to a finished goal.
This year I've joined a group on Facebook called "52 Lists". Every week there is a new list to write, and I have had so much fun doing these. So far we have done our goals for 2014, the highlights of 2013, rainy day activities and things that remind us of home. This week is a list of our favourite quotes which really has me thinking.
Below are my lists. I hope they inspire you to come and join us in this Facebook group. Making these lists has really been meaningful and fun for me.
No doubt I'll share more lists with you throughout the year. Do you make lists for yourself?
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  1. Can I add an accomplishment for 2013 - "surviving" your teen son's first airplane trip to visit his cousins and Uncle and Aunt :) LOL
    I love lists, too but I've never been that detailed - maybe I need to start doing that, too.
    I did get an app for our chores and the kids LOVE checking their chores off each day as they do them :)

  2. Cleaning the house (like on a Saturday morning) goes so much easier if I list everything that needs to be done, and then let the children cross off what they do. There is something so incredibly good feeling about crossing off your list and watching it shrink.