What’s in a list?

First, a quick update on Operation Back to Work! I’m ploughing on steadily with the house tidying and de-cluttering. I’ve been eBaying, donating to the charity shop and Freecycling lots of excess clutter. I’m also doing quite well with the ironing mountain – thank goodness for 4OD and the BBC Iplayer which are keeping me sane! Christmas and meal planning have been on the back burner as last week Pumpkin was poorly for the week and we found ourselves in coping mode! But all is well again and my cheeky little pumpkin is back to health so I can carry on.

One of the most important tools that I use to get organised is a To Do List. Writing a to do list is a great way of focussing my mind and making sure I achieve what I need to. Here are some top tips on writing to do lists.

  • Make it fun. I like to write my lists on some fun stationery (I am using this pad at the moment). I use coloured pens to write my tasks and cross them off when they are done! It might seem daft but it makes me smile! 
  • Make it achievable. Don’t set yourself up to fail. My pad has space for 16 items on it and I would never want a list to be longer than that. I like my lists to be completed in a short space of time (a daily list or a tasks to complete this weekend) so you get the satisfaction of completing it.
  • Break down tasks. I get real motivation from crossing items off my lists so I like to break down big tasks into smaller chunks. For example my daily list today includes laundry so I have listed sorting washing and loading the machine as one task, and hanging up the wet washing to dry as another.
  • Add some me-time. Most parents have a hard time making time for themselves. Add some ‘me-time’ activities to your to do list and make them as much of a priority as the chores. I’m reading a fabulous book at the moment (The Midwife’s Confession by Diane Chamberlain since you ask!). I want to make time for a couple of chapters later on so I added it to my list  along with a visit to the gym.
  • Keep the list visible. I keep my lists on the desk next to me or if I am out and about I keep it in my pocket so I can check it at any time. Make sure you review the list often and enjoy ticking off the tasks as you complete them.
  • Life happens. Life happens is the phrase I use to myself when plans go out the window. Please don’t put too much pressure on yourself  and accept that sometimes the best laid plans go wrong. Last week when my daughter was ill I hardly achieved anything around the house but instead I comforted my poorly daughter which was a much bigger priority than the housework. You can always move the housework to tomorrow’s list!

Hope these tips are useful. Let me know what you think of to do lists in the comments. Maybe you are like me and can’t live without them, or maybe you keep it all in your head.

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