If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m a huge list maker. I’m very visual, and keeping lists in my notebook, on my phone, or tacked to the bulletin board in my closet helps keep important stuff at the forefront of my mind (and helps me minimize the stacks of books, mending, craft projects, stationery, and other items that would otherwise be serving as visual reminders of my intentions).
I like to keep a lot of projects going at once, but I also like my house to stay neat and orderly, and my lists help me accomplish both goals. I know I could technically survive without my lists, but I wouldn’t be nearly as functional or efficient without them.
Making lists keeps me mindful
I keep all the standard to-do lists: birthday and appointment calendars, gift ideas, weekly menus, things to pick up at the grocery store (although now that Walmart offers grocery pick-up, whenever I run out of something I just add it directly to my online cart instead of putting it on a shopping list).
I also keep a record of the books I’ve read (or want to read), letters I’ve written (or need to write), crafts I’ve completed (or hope to start next), and lesson plans for my homeschooling.
If I’m working on developing a new habit, I use a chart like this:
Unless I’m trying to establish better habits in a lot of areas simultaneously, in which case I use something like this:
Some columns are for checkmarks: I mark them once I’ve read my Bible, taken my vitamin, flossed my teeth, moisturized my skin, checked my phone messages (I’m bad about letting those things pile up for days). Others are for recording the number on the scale when I weigh each morning or the number of calories I consume daily when I’m trying to lose a few pounds. The wider columns are for more detailed information: titles of books I’m reading or names of people I send snail mail to.
The point is, I’ve found that I usually accomplish far more when I’m intentional about how I spend my time.