Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The to-do list

Ivan commented on my last post that people never finish their to-do lists. You know what? You're right. I think I have figured out why. I wrote a to-do list and finished most of it, but then realized that I had done other things that weren't on the list. Yes, I have to take back the recycling, tidy the island, vacuum the upstairs and move a flat of pop downstairs. But I also have to make dinner, walk the dog, and load and unload the dishwasher. Those last three aren't on the list because they happen everyday (okay, making dinner happens every second day). But they should be on the list because I still have "to do" them.

So I have begun revising my to-do list writing. I wrote the first list at night, after the Babe went to bed. The next night I transferred what I had not completed to a new list AND I added additional tasks and errands I had completed but weren't on the first list to that first list and I checked them off. Walked the dog - check. Make a salad for a luncheon - check. Moved extra rolls of carpet from my office to under the stairs - check. Felt like I accomplished something - check check CHECK!

It amazing that just writing things down makes my anxiety lessen. If I write down that I'm going to take back the recycling, I feel relived because I know I'm going to do it. If I don't get to it today, that's okay, I'll move it to tomorrow's list. If I don't do one of the tasks for five days, I'll ask someone for help because there's clearly an issue there. Sitting down to watch bad TV doesn't make me feel guilty tonight because according to my list I hosted a class and a luncheon at my house this morning, walked the dog and moved a flat of pop this afternoon, and managed to feed the Babe dinner in her highchair before giving her a bath, a massage and reading her a story.

And then I leave the lists on the counter so that my husband can see them. Because I need outside acknowledgement that I'm getting things done. And so that he can also see the things I've added at the bottom for him to do ;)

- H

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