Still, I like to think I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Okay, so some of them aren't exactly rocket science. It's more about the consistency of action. Good habits. Organization. Et cetera.
One of my very favorite tools is the TO DO list. Simple, I know. When life gets crazy and stressful, that's when we need simplicity the most.
There have definitely been times when I felt like I was going to throw up thinking about everything that had to get done in the day or the week or before a certain deadline. Somehow keeping an organized list of all these tasks provides a special perspective, which is much needed at these times.
Personally it helps me to see on paper that it's really not so bad after all. Okay, so sometimes it really is that bad. Still, it's helpful not to have all that "stuff" swirling around in my head.
I've tried a lot of different organizers and pre-fab lists over the years and have finally settled on a simple 7x10 spiral bound blank notebook. Maybe it's just me but the more formal systems stressed me out. Plus, I like the idea of throwing the old list away each time I make a clean new one. (That might be my OCD actually.)
- add items to the list as they come up; usually from scribbled notes on later pages
- rewrite / reorganize the list as the last thing I do before bed (or first thing when I get to work, or when I realise it's been a few days and my list is a mess.)
My mother-in-law recently told me that the first thing on her to do list is always, "Make to do list." This provides her with the immediate gratification of checking off one item right away. Check. One thing down. Yay!
It might be helpful to know that my mother-in-law is like Tinkerbell. She needs applause in order to live. I totally get it.
There's such a great feeling of accomplishment which comes from checking things off the list. In fact, I think I'll start calling it a "TAH DAH!" list now instead of a "to do" list. Love it.
There is also the famous "honey do" list. You know... that list of stuff you want your special someone to accomplish. Today please. This year maybe? Somehow they just can't be trusted to get it done without a helpful nudge from their schmoopie.
Personally, I make lists for Big D as rarely as possible. Trust me, there are days I would really love to unleash my inner control freak. It's just not the best recipe for marital bliss. Not to mention that Big D. suffers from a common ailment which afflicts many men:
Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS).
Man yells upstairs to wife, "Honey, I'm going down to clean my workbench!"
Ten seconds later, man is left unsupervised in basement... "Oh look - shiny object!"
And so, five years later the workbench is still a mess.
Call me lazy; I'd rather live with a messy workbench in my basement than nag 24/7. Nagging is not on my "to do" list. And, certainly not worthy of being on a TAH DAH! list.
I almost had an epiphany about only putting things on my list which, when completed, are worthy of a TAH DAH! But then reality set in and I realised that sometimes there are things that need to get done sans applause.
What's on your TAH DAH! list today??