The Secret Of Living happily with Lists
Are you the type of person who likes a list? Some people do and some people don’t. As I grew up the ‘list’ always seemed superfluous to a happy life. Only when 100% completed was the list happy, until then it nagged me about jobs to be done or results not yet achieved. Who needs that? As a result I avoided a list like Russian athletes avoid a drug test.
I got old(er).
University introduced me to the reading list. Buying a home introduced me to a ‘to do/ chore’ list. The list snuck into my life. It started to deface my refrigerator. Bastard.
However, it was in my late 20’s and early 30’s when work and living abroad started to change my feelings towards the list. Suddenly I need to take note of all the things I had to do, prioritise, reprioritize, and delegate. It helped slow down and organise my world. The list became a friend. Not the type of friend you choose first for a big night out with but one who would help you do a C.V or paint your living room.
I got Old(er) still-- but still young. Very young.
Since motherhood I have become quite the fan of a list. It helped to provide a daily routine and structure. If anything all those sleepless nights and years of breast feeding gives one time to think and to dream of life once your baby is older, escaping current reality. As a result the list has become so much more than it used to be. On one hand it continued and improved its supporting role – a paper based personal assistant/ coach to my work, my family and the problems of living abroad. On another level it became a blank canvass for dreams and future intentions, a written promise to oneself that one day I would see a world beyond nappies.
Today the list represents both the jobs I need to do and the dreams I want to achieve. It helps me to stay in control (or at least feel in control), and to take more responsibility for making the things happen that are important to me, rather than getting lost in the never ending to dos.
So what’s the secret to living happily with a list?
1. The ‘to do’ list
Balance is the key to a good to do list, for example…..
- Buy washing up liquid.
- Pick up kids from school
- Cheeky glass of wine with
- Work on the
- Cook dinner
Remember what things are urgent and need to be tackled today and what things can wait until the morning.
2. The ‘already done list’
For every ‘to do’ list you should write an ‘already done’ list. In this list write down the things you have are proud of or enjoyed from the past day, week or month. You may find that just stopping to remember the good will help you to appreciate and become more intentional about what matters in the future.
I have put together a monthly list to help me keep this balance, so if you want to give it a try - print off this months FREE planner. DOWNLOAD IT HERE
Why not try it this week? Go grab a glass of wine, or cup of tea, and start planning, and dreaming at the same time.
Dont like the structure of the free printable, then here is some inspiration of lists I use with my coaching clients, helping you get started in your own format and style.
Highlights from 2015 - family milestones, travel highlights, new recipes or restaurants you have tried, lessons learnt.
Things most proud of doing or achieving.
Relationships you are grateful for, and moments of fun had with them.
10 Things you would advise a younger you.