How many of you, on seeing this title, are now humming the song from the Mikado, " ...They'd none of them be missed..."?
Well, this isn't a list of persons whom I wish I could remove from my life - although, now you come to mention it – but, no, it's not that.
This is about that wonderful conduit to productiveness, the list.
Most of us make lists. Shopping lists, lists of errands to run, lists of things we need to pack for that holiday, lists of chores to be done around the house, lists of things to do at work; lots and lots of lists.
Most days, experiencing a feeling of overwhelm, I make a list of everything I must do. Just the act of writing everything down gets it out of my head and traps it neatly on paper where it has less power to fill me with nebulous feelings of foreboding.
On Monday Lex wrote about acknowledging how far we've come, rather than becoming discouraged by how far we still have to go, and that made me think about my lists.
There's always a feeling of accomplishment when you tick things off your list. Sometimes I even write things I've already done onto my list just so I can have the pleasure of ticking them off.
One of the things I have learned, of recent years, is to tame my lists.
My lists used to be long, unwieldy things. Those lists wound, like giant anacondas, off the table, onto the floor, curled around the furniture, out of the door into the street… Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but the lists were far too long. No one could ever hope to accomplish all the tasks in a day or even a week – possibly even a year. I have learned to make the lists a LOT shorter.
On the other hand, a list of only three things ticked off is – unsatisfying.
My Monday list (I choose this because Monday is my "domestic" day) might be:
1. Clean the House
2. Cook dinners for the week
3. Write Moodscope Blog
I have found, however, the list is far more rewarding if I break down each item into smaller parts.
1. Clean the House:
1.1. Wash up
1.2. Sweep kitchen floor
1.3. Vacuum Hallway
1.4. Ditto Sitting Room
1.5. Clean bathrooms:
1.5.2. Downstairs cloakroom
I won't go on, but that should make it clear enough.
This breaking everything down into smaller parts means, especially when I don't complete the whole task, at least I can see I've accomplished something.
I confess there have been times when I have listed:
1. Get Up:
1.1. Get out of bed
1.2. Clean teeth
1.4. Dress – in real clothes
1.5. Make coffee
1.6. Make and eat breakfast
Because, sometimes, just completing that list is like running a marathon.
So, yesterday was Monday. I cleaned some of the house and I cooked the dinners. Some things on the list got ticked off and some didn't.
Today I'm writing the blog.
Oh, and that song? Here's a link to my favourite version – warning – not the original words! http://bit.ly/2T9E1by
A Moodscope member.
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