Monday, August 01, 2005

Of laundry, mending and why I love lists

Greetings all,

Every day I make a to-do list. A list of those things that I would like to see or need to see accomplished. When I started writing lists, I wrote everything that I thought was important and needed to get done that day. The lists looked like insurmountable mountains to me, and they were. I just kept adding and adding to them until I had a full page of things to do and one day to do them in. In a strange way I thought the more I had to do the more productive I would be. As you can imagine, this list never got accomplished and I was not very productive. In fact the only thing that did get accomplished was an increasing sense of discouragement. I was an 'all or nothing' kind of gal. If it did not all get done in one day, or if I could not do it all in one shot, it just did not get done. I would look at my tasks and become paralyzed and overwhelmed by what I thought needed to be done. Now I say thought because much of this was in my own mind and of my own doing. Things I thought were important were not really that necessary and things that were important I would work around, crossing very trivial and miscellaneous items off my list instead of tackling this particular unsavory task.

As I have matured as a homemaker I have learned the list is not my enemy or my source of defeat. I have learned to use my list as a helper and not as a slave driver. Now in the morning I set small goals for myself and no more than six of them a day. This is very important so that I do not become discouraged and do not fall into 'build Rome in a day' mentality. I write down only realistic goals and things that really need to be accomplished on that given day. This took a bit of discipline on my part because for several days when I started to do this, I still did not get it all done, so I kept pushing it to the next day until the task was finally completed. I then learned to tackle big tasks in small bites.

For example, if I wanted to clean my room I would write:

day 1 bathroom

day 2 closet

day 3 dust and vacuum

day 4 dressers etc.

You get the picture. Each task takes 10-15 minutes to do and little by little it gets done. This has been an efficient and time saving way of getting my work done.

Which leads me to finally to the title of this blog. Today on my list was laundry and mending. Under mending I listed each item to be mended. I was so pleased I was able to get my laundry finished and all the machine mending done! What a thrill it was for me to be able to cross each of those items off. I set those goals and did them! They were small realistic goal that gave me a great deal of satisfaction!

I am sure. as I grow, I will become more efficient in my list and scheduling expertise but I wanted to share this part of my journey with you. I know this is something that all of us homemakers struggle with and I want to encourage you along your way. Be gentle with yourself and take it a little at a time, one day at a time. Let me know some of your list making and scheduling tips, I love to learn more!

1 comment:

Shira said...

I like to keep daily lists, as you do, with small do-able tasks. But at the same time, there are always big plans, big projects running through my mind, and I like to keep track of those as well. So I have some 'big' lists, master lists. I put everything on those that I need to get done, and then I pick things from those lists, as well as daily chores that don't get onto those lists, and put them on my daily list.

I've got a sewing project list. I've got some household fixing projects on the list. Sorting of seasonal clothing. Plans for the winter. Important phone calls that need to be made soon, etc... :) I really enjoy sitting with some coffee, a blank page, and getting all the to-dos that are floating in my head down onto paper, and then not having to think about them all the time. Its very meditative and relaxing.

Except when I known I forgot something and can't remember what it was, in order to write it down! That can be sometimes fustrating.