The List

Sometimes I just need a list. 


On Sunday morning over coffee I sat down and made “the list”. I was feeling like stuff was slipping away from me and that my head was all jumbled. It had been going on for a while. Things like I would be in the kitchen cooking dinner and think “I need to clean up and organize that shelf” or would wake up in the night and be thinking about the stuff I needed to do for work. 

I’ve always been a fan of lists. I like the freedom that comes from getting stuff down on paper and out of my head. I also like the satisfaction of crossing things off. It makes me feel productive. Lists also give me a sense of organization and control when things around me are busy and feeling less than in control. 

On “the list” I put three columns – WORK, HOME & PERSONAL. There are some rules for “the list” (yes, my list has rules). 1. The idea of the list is to get stuff out of my head, so I can write down anything that pops in there. 2. List items can be things that need to be done today, tomorrow, next week or at no particular time. It’s just a place to write things down. 3. The list is ongoing so things are continually added and crossed off without needing to start a new piece of paper. I thought this was environmentally friendly of me and would also make me feel super productive when I could look at it and see all the things I had done. I’ve got it in an abandoned notebook so I can just turn the page and keep going. 

So what did I put on the list? Things like:
  • Clean up desk
  • Do class registrations
  • Laundry all done and put away
  • Clean up nightstand
  • Take Olivia for vaccinations
  • Move pictures on computer to CD’s
  • Finish quilt
  • Learn how to use my new camera 
  • Study French
  • Finish reading Quicksilver
  • Finish reading Black Baby, White Hands
  • Start reading Paradise Lost
That’s just a sample for you. There, now you have a small window into my little life. Already I’m happy with the progress and the brain space. I feel less stressed and more organized. My mom is probably laughing at me wondering why it took me so long to do this because I’ve been organized since birth. If you don’t believe me ask my mom to see the picture of me lining up my baby bottles on the floor. I was probably about 10 months old. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with life on any level I strongly recommend making a list and just putting whatever you want  on it. It’s your list and there are no right an wrongs. I think breathing space is important and a little organization can go a long way. In the last couple days I’ve felt way more productive, not because I’m really pushing myself, but because I have a place to come to that helps me remember what I want to be doing with my time, so I’m more efficient rather than wander around thinking, “Now what was I going to do?” Also, having a little one in the house, there are certain things that are just easier for me to do when she’s napping. Having all of the stuff I want to accomplish written down lets me pick and choose my tasks based on what’s going on at that particular moment. 

All that said, it’s time to go to work and get my newsletter done!
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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

2 thoughts on “The List

  1. Great idea, Leslie, I am not an organized person. I am constantly wandering around the house thinking ” Now what was i goin to do? Maybe I should get a notbook.

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