I never considered myself much of a list person. I never considered myself a person with a life that's too full, either. I try to take care not to cram it with too much because whenever I do I get easily overwhelmed. But sometimes I wake up with a feeling that there's a surprising lot to be done for a person who just wants to live a simple life homeschooling her family and doing a bit of writing. And it all seems to be urgent. So I started writing it all down on a list to keep track of it. And I discovered to my astonishment that these urgencies are most often quite little things.
Here are some examples.
Buy birthday cards for Andrew's sisters
Answer 3 emails
Remind Emma to write a thank-you note for a bracelet she was given
Tell Andrew we need to renew an account
Pick up Logan's new epipen from the chemist
Organise for carpets to be cleaned before rental inspection
Buy a few groceries
Clean through cupboards
Get car oil changed
Plan a couple of Sunday School classes
I know we all get the idea. I was stressed but I was surprised to notice that I was stressed chiefly with little things. Although they are all little things they quickly multiply if I just leave them whirling through my head. I could make it into a sum. Little thing + little thing + little thing + little thing etc = stress. I'd been inclined to wake up in the morning thinking, 'I've got so much to do.' But they can't all fit into one day. So I started jotting down everything on a master list that I've called WTDTW (What to do this week). Then I itemise each one into WTDT (What to do Today). I try to make sure to include a few boring nasties to spread them out evenly. And I have to say, it has been helping. I've been ticking them off as I go through them and feeling as if I've been getting everything done with not so much running around.
Here's a prime example. I had to visit the local High School to enrol Logan on their books as a homeschooler. It's something our state requires us to do, just to keep track of all school aged students. Logan and his sister have been enrolled on the Primary School roll book as homeschoolers, but the Primary School have notified us that they'll be removing him this year as he's now a highschooler. If they hadn't reminded me I probably wouldn't have given it a thought. So we had to chase up all the people at the High School and fill out a lot of red tape and rub shoulders with all the big, loud senior students in the corridors on our way to the office. That's a perfect example of something that takes time from your day, isn't a pleasant task but really needs to be done. Just a one-off sort of thing, but one-offs keep coming up. (I'll have to go and enrol Blake at the Primary School as a home-schooler next year.) And if I hadn't started my list system and had it there in black-&-white staring at me, I'm sure I wouldn't have got around to it yet. So something as simple as jotting things down is working for me.