Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Our Lady of Lists

My fella once jokingly dubbed me "Our Lady of Lists."  It's a fitting title.  I do love a list. 

Actually, I love a lot of lists. 

I have a reading list, and a topic list for future blogs. 

I have a grocery list, and a list of items I'm collecting for craft projects. 

I have a list of craft supplies I may need, and sewing projects I want to undertake. 

I have a list of things to look for when I go thrifting. 

I have inventory lists for my pantry and both deep freezes. 

I have a list of birthdays and anniversaries that I try to remember and, of course, the big kahuna of lists in my house, the "to do" list.

The process of list making helps me to organize my thoughts and to give some priority to the many things I'd like to fit into my schedule. 

There is a dangerous side to all this list making though: 

If I have too many projects on the go and still more waiting to get started, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it all. 

When I get overwhelmed by the tasks at hand, I'm kind of like a deer in the headlights; frozen, mesmerized, and unable to more forward to accomplish anything at all.

It took me a long time to realize I was creating this feeling of being overwhelmed, and even longer to arrive at a solution that works for me.

Here's what I figured out:

I can still make all those lists without feeling overwhelmed if I just limit my "to do" list to three attainable goals each day. 

The attainable part is really important. In order not to find myself mired in frustration, I need to feel at the end of the day that I've accomplished what I set out to do. 

I'm careful with my wording: 

Instead of writing "sew new dress,"  I'll write "cut out new dress" because I know that I can get at least that much done. 

Instead of writing "do the week's baking,"  I'll write "bake bread"  because that's the most important portion of the baking. 

If the rest doesn't get done, we'll get by just fine. 

By keeping the goals on my "to do" list more attainable, I can end my day with a feeling of accomplishment.  If I get more done than what's on my list, I feel even better.

Simple, right?

Funny how smart solutions so often are.  ;^)