To list or not to list

The to-do list
The daily to-do list

I’m an extreme ‘lister’. It’s like an addiction albeit a fairly healthy – even if a little OCD – addiction. I have lists for everything: writing, family management, meals, shopping, bills, paperwork, daily to-do’s, and more.

On my fridge there is the on going family list where people write things up hoping they will be actioned (Thongs for X, Y & Z, Fix everyone’s bikes, Build a chook house, Solve the world’s problems) – simple little things. Then there is the list for every day. I’ve titled that one ‘Running Our Household’ and hope that the four boys I live with accidentally read it and do some of the jobs. It lists the jobs in three categories: morning jobs, afternoon/evening jobs and weekly jobs. There is also the list of meals for the week, the list of foods needed from the supermarket, the list of activities coming up (okay, it’s not a list, but it’s all of the activity forms pegged together in date order).

I also have the list of bills needing to be paid (all in a brilliant spreadsheet), and a list of incoming paperwork (also in a brilliant spreadsheet).

When we are going away anywhere, out comes the pen and paper and more lists are prepared: food, clothing, equipment and more.

Then on a more personal level, in addition to my whining lists to myself about self-improvement, I have the daily to-do list to make sure I actually get everything done (trust me I have tried to be freeflow about the whole getting things done, and it is not pretty for me).

Now I know that I am definitely not OCD (even though reading this through it is beginning to sound like it and when I had to describe the insides of my fridge to my Print Media class this year it definitely sounded like it). I think I just aspire to be one of those incredibly organised people. And when I don’t do the whole listy thing, I’m stuff. I wander around as though I have nothing to do. I open cupboards randomly and stare at them. I find a project and spontaneously take it up … for the rest of the day, when there were many other things that I needed to do.

When I had very small children, my hubby told me to just aim for one thing a day. I would write my ridiculously long, never to be achieved, list and feel deflated at the end. Then I remembered a brilliant time management strategy from when I was working: write it all done, and tick it off. The sense of satisfaction is incredible.

So judge me as you (I am still protesting that I am not a superorganised OCD person, perhaps just an aspiring one…), but for those who love a little pat on the back at the end of the day, I would recommend the daily to-do list. Tick them off as you go and feel the satisfaction. You’ll get hooked.

Blog post. Done.

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