Friday, October 29, 2010

Make a List, Check it Twice.

I am not a natural list maker.

Many people in my life depend on their daily to-do lists and agendas full of details and check boxes. When I was younger I always thought the running mental tally written in my brain would suffice. As I got older, and my life got busier, I found it became easier to fall behind. When times were really busy I would miss things altogether. I still remember that pit-of-stomach feeling in university when a prof would mention an assignment due next class, and I would think "I was SURE that was due NEXT week!" Not taking the time to write things down, and plan things out had negative consequences not just on my productivity, but in the confidence I had on my own capabilities. It's hard to keep cool, calm, and collected when you've missed things that are important.

I've discovered that forcing myself to commit things to paper, even though it doesn't come naturally, brings much a needed order to my priorities. There's an added satisfaction in CROSSING a chore off a list, rather than just completing it and moving on. At the end of the day I can examine what I accomplished. In the middle of the day I can better focus on what is most urgent. And at the beginning of the day, I get a rough idea on how my time is going to be devoted. There are still days that I skip making a list. Sometimes I make one then lose it in the shuffle of tidying and baby-minding. The days that I don't make a list, I can feel the toll that it's taken on my productivity and prioritizing.

Sometimes taking the time to sit down with your partner and make lists can help focus and prioritize the situations you are dealing with. Whether it be things you want to accomplish over the span of a weekend, or your long term planning in terms of your finances, committing your plans to paper will help ensure that you're aligned in your goals. Making lists together will hopefully help spark conversations of dreams and priorities and give better perspective on what is at the forefront of your spouses' agenda.

1 comment:

Kara said...

S and I made a list this morning...then attacked it with vigor.

The bills are paid now. It may feel like we are broke again, just hours after getting paid...but the bills are taken care of and the other monies allotted for their portions of "the list".

Soon we'll be implementing the Magic Jars!

Thanks for inspiring me to take the reins on my life again.