Friday, February 17, 2023

Five on Friday: Confessions of a Chronic List Maker

But, Gina, how do you manage to even fit any self-care in on top of everything else you do every day?

The thing is, productivity makes me feel good. I can rest when I'm dead (exception: my near-daily cat naps).  So how do I manage to remember it all and then get it done?

Chronic list making, my friends. 

Sometimes the lists are on paper but these days they are more frequently on the "Notes" on my laptop. These can also be accessed on my phone, which is good, because when you're trying to keep track of as many things as I am, it's easy to forget a paper list at home (but I almost never, ever--knock wood--forget my phone).

Mom as a mermaid as imagined by our oldest daughter, circa 2014

Confessions from this chronic list-maker:

1. Okay, fine, some lists are actually better on paper. I don't know the science behind it but paper is the superior choice for the food shopping list (even though I have forgotten those at home and that sucks so, so much).

2. I should hope that by now everyone knows that it's perfectly acceptable to write things down that you already finished just so you can have the satisfaction of crossing it out and feeling accomplished. If you didn't, now you do.

3. However, that's only really satisfying with paper lists. My suggestion for digital lists is to go ahead and write down mundane stuff you would do anyway. Things like: 

    1. brush teeth
    2. get kids to school
    3. answer emails

I don't write this stuff down every day --who's got time for that? On days when the other tasks are big ones that require more of a time commitment, being able to cross off little things helps me to feel accomplished. 

4. My lists have lists. This is not hyperbole. For example, in the weeks leading up to the MLK Day of Community Service, on my days off from work I'd frequently have MLK work written on my list. When I got to that point, I'd open another list and see which MLK Day-related chores I could do. 

5. Sometimes, I get things off the daily to-do lists by moving them to another day's to-do lists. It's called task management, look it up.

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