Back in late November last year, I read a post by a fellow blogger Chronicle of Ellen (https://chronicleofellen.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/books-lists-good-times) about her obsession with lists and it inspired me to think about my own list-making behaviour, as well as my organization strategies for the coming year.
Christmas is always a great time to give and receive calendars in preparation for the year ahead. There are so many beautiful calendars displaying a range of topics from artwork to nature; gardens and travel photography; family organizers and do-it-yourself calendars, complete with family photos. Leunig produces a cheap calendar at the end of every year as a newspaper supplement. Geninne Zlatkis provides a monthly calendar which you can download from her art blog : http://blogdelanine.blogspot.com.au/There are also some very beautiful, seductive daily diaries, but while I have occasionally succumbed, they really are a waste of money for me, as I never use them after their initial purchase and immediate entries!
The problem is that my lists of daily tasks and appointments are ALWAYS being modified and I am just not in the habit of consulting diaries about future events! Having said that, I do keep a daily diary of the day’s events at the END of the day, which I find very useful as a record for future reference of past dental or medical appointments and treatments/ haircuts etc. as well as being entertaining to look back on. It also helps me off-load the day, especially if it has been very busy or stressful, as well as organize future actions!
My best bet is keeping a record of future events on a wall calendar, which I consult on a monthly basis. I also have a special birthday calendar, though I scarcely need it these days, as Facebook reminds me every time!!!
And I keep lists! Monthly lists, weekly lists and daily lists … of appointments, tasks and chores, websites to look up, future purchases and bucket lists! I cannot survive without my lists and losing my notebook is cause for major momentary panic!!!
I have a dear non-list keeping friend, who once told me : ‘Oh, I never keep a list. If it’s that important, someone will remind me!’ This was in Pre-Facebook days and ‘someone’ doesn’t necessarily remind you! I much prefer to be organized and not to miss out on things!
And I don’t think that I have a lousy memory either! I also once read a remark in one of Kate Grenville’s books (though I must admit that I cannot remember which one!) that we were the first generation to be worried about the possibility of Alzheimers! In previous generations, memory loss was just accepted as being part-and-parcel of old age. Her belief, which I share, is that we lead far busier lives than the women of our mothers’ generation, who were at home. Our days are so jam-packed with work and family commitments, as well as running the household, that it’s little wonder that we occasionally forget things!!!
Hence supporting my list-making behaviour!!! I tend to work a month ahead and use a spiral notebook, so I can easily tear out unwanted pages, which you cannot do with a diary! Any activities, which did not get achieved, are transferred to the list for next day or week!
I also use an old study calendar to plan my blog posts, especially the Thursday posts, as I post a recipe/ scenic beauty spot/ favourite and random thought each month. By keeping a blog calendar, I can plan their release for the most appropriate time of the year. Because I have been working every day these past few months, I have written 2 months’ worth of drafts, so that I am not caught out!
But the lists don’t stop there! I keep lists of favourite books, films and videos, music, bucket lists of all the above, as well as future holidays and desired purchases. I used to keep them in a separate notebook, but find it much easier now to store them in the Notes section of my mobile phone for easy consultation when in conversation. I DON”T have a bad memory!!! It’s just there are so many good books and films to remember!!! And list-making is an obsession!!!
As you know, I am writing a ‘Favourites’ post each month, so I will be sharing these lists (books/ films) with you later in the year (once I’ve finished all my favourite gardens that is!)
Pinterest is another useful alternative to lists (and equally seductive and obsessive!) to organize your likes and interests. It is a great way to examine what is important to you, what motivates you and what you like, so that you can develop your own style. A word from the wise though (or rather once-bitten) ! It is best to be very specific with your categorization very early on in your Pinterest career, as once you amass a large number of pins, it is very difficult to find them if your folder topics have been too general and it is a lot of work to reorganize them! For example, do not put everything concerning the house into one topic labelled ‘Architecture’, rather break it down into ‘Architecture’, ‘Interior Decoration’, even separate rooms eg ‘Kitchen’, ‘Sewing Rooms’, ‘Bedrooms’ etc.
And finally, it’s New Year : the prime list-making time ! All those New Year resolutions! Like organizing Childrens’ birthday parties, they always seem like such a good idea at the time, but their motivation always deteriorates as time marches on!!! A typical list at the start of each year includes the following :
- Improve diet
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Meditation and relaxation
- Learn something new eg music/ language/ poem
- Explore more
- Get to the beach at least once a week
- Swim after work every week day
- Do more canoeing/ camping/ bushwalking
- Cull more books and reorganize/ rationalize our ‘stuff’!
Sounds good to me! On that note, Happy New Year! May your 2016 be filled with love, laughter, happiness, fun and creativity!