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I am a list maker.  Lists help me in more ways than just staying organized…they keep me focused and motivate me.  I’m a completionist and lingering things on my to-do list will nag at me until they are done.  Nothing feels better than having a long to-do list at the beginning of the week or day and then checking off that last thing.  In fact, sometimes if I fly through a to-do list too quickly, I will add more things just to see how many items I can check off and accomplish during that time period.

However, lets face it, once you have kids your organization can take a back seat at times.  I’ve gotten pretty good at keeping a short list in my head, but when the things start piling up and I don’t put it down “on paper”, or in my case on Evernote, items will start falling through the cracks.  And I don’t know about you, but once items start falling through the cracks and the balls I am juggling start hitting the floor, it is easy for me to become completely overwhelmed and to start feeling like I am failing in some way.

Recently I went through this cycle as we have what seems like a million balls in the air….preparing for multiple trips this year, figuring out curriculum for Creative Kid’s Kindergarten year before we head to our first homeschool convention, getting contractor estimates to do some things on our house to prepare for sale, some massive spring purging (not just cleaning) to also prepare for sale, finding a good landscaping company to do some work as well…I could go on and on as really the list right now seems to be never ending.  At first I was handling it all well just plugging along at my mental list, until I realized how many nagging things were out there either up in the air or not completely finished.  Which of course drive me nuts…did I mention I’m a completionist?

So last weekend I set out to make a list of all the things that needed to be done.  I then started tackling it this week from a priority standpoint.  It is now Thursday night and of the 25 original items I put on the list, I have achieved 7 of them.  About 8 others are in progress with a few of those to be completed this weekend.  Considering that many of those 7 that I checked off the list were big things that had time sensitive issues involved and had been lingering for up to 2 months, I am happy with the progress.  To-do lists are like a how-to on staying focused.

So tell me, do lists keep you motivated as well as organized?  Or do large lists overwhelm you?

Thanks for reading!

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