Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Lists

I am a compulsive list maker. Thankfully, it is a nasty habit I am gradually starting to wean myself from. Lists involve such pressure. I often feel disappointed when I don't check every item off my list at the end of the day. (And let face it. These days I rarely complete even half the items on my list.)

This pregnancy I have not compiled an Almighty List. In fact, I have very few things I would like to complete before the baby arrives. I think Ben is relieved I have not gone into overdrive nesting mode this time around! I feel my nest is sufficiently feathered.

I have returned to making daily lists, though. My brain is starting to move into that unsettling fuzzy stage of pregnancy. I forget the strangest things. (Things like feeding the hamster or finishing the laundry.) This week I made prioritized lists each day, and it helped so much. I simply worked my way through the list, step by step. I didn't have to think too hard and felt unreasonably productive.

As well, I've finally given myself permission to leave my lists incomplete. I sadly run out of steam too quickly most days, and kids have a way of changing the best laid plans. Most of the time I can realistically finish four or five things.

Here is an example of one of my daily lists. (This is fascinating stuff!)

1. Sort and wash clothes (3 loads).
2. Phone Alberta Blue Cross.
3. Start bread in the bread maker.
4. Start supper in the crock pot.
5. Take down and put away Christmas decorations.

I also like having prioritized lists because I feel less panicked about my day. I can see what I need to do, and about how long each task will take. If my kids ask me to read books or make crafts with them, I can honestly judge my time. I've actually spent more time playing with the kids this week thanks to my lists!

I also have a Big Task List for the month of January. It has some longer projects that I would like to complete this month:
  • Learn to use Quicken. Make a new budget and enter receipts. (Completed.)
  • Compile preschool music binders. (Completed.)
  • Sew kids' pajamas. (The fabric is cut but I haven't started sewing yet.)
  • Write thank you notes. (The boys made adorable cards. I'm still filling them out.)
  • Re-arrange the furniture in the baby's room and boys' room.
  • Make silhouette pictures for the boys' room. (I bought the supplies.)
  • Go through my iPhoto library and print the good pictures for 2006 and 2007. Compile photo albums.
I'll likely not finish everything on my Big Task list this month. That's okay, though. I am learning to slow down, and as my friend kindly puts it, lower my expectations. ;-)


Sheila said...

Preschool music binders? What's that? I'm intrigued. I started making a song book for my son but couldn't figure out how to print it on half sheets. That project got shelved a long time ago, unfortunately.

Lindsay Inkster said...

I teach a preschool music class at the YMCA once a week. I had a huge binder of music that I used plan my lessons. I copied all the music so I could give the original binder back to my generous friend.