If you are the type of person who suffers from forgetfulness you might find it handy to make yourself a to-do list.
If you are a person like me, then you have multiple to-do lists. My to-do lists have categories. I have a to-do list for things that are needing done in short term. A long term list. Financial to-do lists. House project lists. Grocery lists. The lists, literally go on and on. They get ridiculous even to myself.
WOW, I know you are all saying. Nichole is even more organized than I thought!
First of all, anyone can create a to-do list. Or twenty-five to-do lists. Having the to-do list is one thing but the actual motivation to complete the actions on the list is a whole other ballgame. I look at my lists and I am immediately depressed with all the things that I need to do.
My lists are even a joke to me. However, they sometimes amuse me. I get ideas on the fly for various things that I want to look up or need to do and if I am in a hurry can enter them in the wrong list. Example: today I was driving and had an idea and had to pull up a note and send it to myself so I didn’t forget. (At a stoplight. Please do not text and drive. Not even to yourself.)
So today when I took a look at my to-do list, I was surprised that I found the following item:
-preserve a corpse
Seems a little ambitious, even for me. It took the Egyptians seventy-two days to mummify their bodies. Expecting myself to obtain a corpse and preserve it in one day is a bit much. I did find a dead frog in the garage today, but I think it was too far gone for an attempt at preservation.
The to-do lists are great for my organization. The downside to them is that when I see all these things set out in front of me that I need to do, it is often overwhelming. So, I found a trick to help myself stay motivated and feel accomplished.
I have started creating a DONE list. And it has changed my outlook on what I am doing. There have been many days when I have looked at my list and been shocked at everything that I have done. There are so many things that I have to do that I do not bother to write down on my to-do lists. The day to day chores are rarely written down because I don’t need reminding to feed my children. But I do need reminding that they are my priority, and getting sidetracked from housekeeping to take care of them does not mean that I am being lazy. Or that I have failed to be productive. Far from it!
Here are a few items on my DONE list from today:
-Cleaned up the dead frog in the garage. Attempted to remove the dead bird also found in the garage but it is stuck to the floor and will require a hazmat suit.
-Spoke to cat about the dead animals he keeps leaving in the garage. Pretty sure he didn’t give a shit.
-Cleaned up cat vomit and prevented three kittens from eating it. (No kittens were harmed during this).
-Went shopping at Costco and Meijer. (Need to take the bird pole back to Meijer because it was missing two pieces. grrr. Add this to-do list for tomorrow)
-Cut down the overgrown weeds that are in the view of the kitchen window. (I will be honest, pretty much only the weeds that are viewed from this window.)
-Quality time with Mom (Costco and dinner) and a phone call to Dad. Bonus daughter points accrued.
The DONE list has been a great addition to my life because looking at it, I am often surprised at how much I accomplished. Instead of focusing on all of these endless lists of tasks still need to be done, I focus on moving the items to the DONE list. I feel so much more productive and motivated.
Though some of the above may (or may not) have been a joke, I really do add things about quality time with people. It is easy to forget that nurturing our relationships with people is one of the most important and satisfying things that we do in our lives. That hour on the phone with my dad was not a time that I was not cleaning my house. It was a time when I was connecting with a very important person in my life.
I need my to-do list to help me keep organized. But I need that DONE list even more to help me realize that on the days when I go to bed with a sinkful of dishes, it wasn’t because I was being lazy. It was because I was spending my time tending to things that are more important than my chores.