Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The benefits of a list

 There's a lot to be said for planning and writing things down. As I see it, lists can help keep stress down even when you have a lot to get done; lists help to ensure that things aren't forgotten; they help you prioritise, to ensure that deadlines, whether at work or personally, are met and I strongly believe that when you put tasks down in black and white, it makes you much more likely to follow through and complete them, almost as if you have made a contract.
Over 20 years ago, my eldest daughter went to a lovely childminder. Marilyn had five children of her own, a husband who frequently worked away from home and still managed to run her own childminding business. She kept all these plates spinning in part due to a fabulously simple system of having an A4 day-per-view diary on the side in the kitchen. Absolutely everything went in the diary. When her children came home from school, they had to put letters or reminders in the diary.  I was very impressed and adopted the same routine in my house. Typical entries in the diary are birthdays, appointments, deadlines, shopping lists, meal plans, my husbands' out of hours work commitments, my eldest daughter's shift patterns, reminders to descale the dishwasher and washing machine every 2 months, prompts to de flea and worm the cats and check the chickens for mites and a reminder when MOTs and road tax run out to help me budget. Alongside this, I keep a record of the budget and expenditure and of course daily 'To Do' lists. The kids write their Christmas wishlists in the book too and some years we write a list of the things we'd like to do during the summer holidays, so that everyone can have an input. Now that my mother is needing a lot more care, I also have her appointments and important numbers and reminders in there for her. I now also have lists of craft projects I'd like to try.
Anyone reading the diary would have quite a clear impression of what we are about, like an annual time capsule of the Dean household!
If it's not in the diary, it's not happening! Well that's the theory at least!
No doubt it would work with a smaller diary, but I like the space for all my lists!
It's such a simple tactic to adopt, but over the years has been an absolute life saver for running a large household.

1 comment:

  1. The best bit is ticking off what you have done, a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction! Hope you have kept your diaries, they will be so lovely to look back on when yours are all grown up!