I have a to do list for the week.

As per a recommendation by a professional who runs management courses and life coaching and stuff it is categorised into the various ‘roles’ I play in my life. As a working pleb, as a much absent plus one, as a seriously deficient housekeeper etc etc… you get the gist.

The idea is that making these lists once a week on a Sunday will focus your goals for the week, so you can achieve short term and thereby medium to long term targets.

Unfortunately in my case I might as well photocopy the damned thing out and just put a new date on it weekly. Because about 80% of the list tends to just carry over onto the next week. Especially the ones listed with helpful items like ‘vacuum’ (plus one has complained he doesn’t think I understand what this is) and ‘do admin’ (because I hate HATE things like filing, in electronic or hard copy format, I don’t want to do it). And the things I cross of tend to be because they are actually at a critical mark so I would have had to address them regardless of The List. Like the invoice I was ignoring that I had to get a friend to pay eventually as I’d locked myself out my bank account. (Still haven’t worked out how to resolve that one, list or no list.)

The thing is, my to do items are not really that difficult – I’m just ineffective about them. I have no idea how hard it must be to suffer something like depression where ‘get out of bed and out of pjs’ is probably a major achievement. I am not dissing this either. I’m sure someone like Winston Churchill who probably wrote ‘beat those Krauts’ under ‘work’ would find my note to ‘finish work assignment and ask for leave’ pitiable.  But an achievement is an achievement. Being able to cross something out, especially with a fat black marker, should still give one a sense of completion.

I’m just good at creating tasks that do not really have an end point. Like ‘try make sure all my socks have friends’. (In our house, friendless socks are the ones that went into the wash together but plus one always manages to separate so they are lost and lonely and floating annoyingly in a muddled drawer with pantihose tangled around the underwear. I keep meaning to tidy this drawer but I mess it up equally frequently when I rummage frantically for two of the same. A really annoying factor in my life because in the days before plus one meddled, I had holey socks but they were always matched with a  mate.)

One day… one day I will win against the list.

Or just toss it and go on holiday. (Although I need to get through the packing list which needs to be created – oops something to put onto the weekly goals list)



Filed under balance, modern living, motivation, social

8 responses to “Organisation

  1. I think it helps if you have an overall goal in mind for a particular role, with specific milestones to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Make a list of tasks that will get you to the next milestone. Then the idea is that each week you are working towards the next milestone via your list of progress tasks. Things like ‘vacuum’ still need to be on your list because they are maintenance tasks and they support your goal of ‘living a healthy lifestyle’. If you don’t do that on a regular basis then you will be incrementally living a less and less healthy lifestyle as the weeks continue on. I think it helps to have a two lists. The first is your routine, which captures the maintenance tasks that are done on a regular basis. The second is the list of tasks that help you to progress with your goals.

    Having said that, priority management, or finding the balance between these two lists is probably one of the most difficult things to get right and you have to accept that life happens and you’re probably not going to get it perfect. But that’s not the point. The main thing is that you are moving forward with your goals, while still maintaining the ground you’ve already gained.

    Also, buy more socks. 🙂

    • waaaaay too technical raquel! 🙂 The list is about prioritising. Unfortunately the point in some of the mundane making the top ten is BECAUSE I never get it done otherwise! the categories have also been interesting as I get to see where the balance has gone off (eg too much on work not enough time on plus one)

      • I know. Every week I think I’m rubbish at managing my life because I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. But then I look around and realise that the house didn’t burn down, I didn’t lose my job and the people I live with are still hanging around. So I’m probably not as bad as I think I am.

        Having said that, the maintenance stuff is really important because it’s the structure on which the progress work builds on.

      • 🙂 I very rely on the people I live with to manage to hang around by themselves! thats why I don’t have puppies or babies in my life at present clearly…I’m busy not burning the house down!

  2. I have started such lists. Finally in desperation I put as the first item, ‘Look at the %^&%$!!! list! But that only worked if I looked at the list.

  3. I don’t have lists, except in my head. I do occasionally jot down reminders in my diary to post birthday cards, but have usually posted them days before the reminder pops up. 🙂

  4. I don’t like to-do lists. This feeling of obligation makes me feel constantly worried about completing it.

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