To do list or not to list

I don’t really do resolutions at specific times or other calendar assisted activities if I can help it, but 2012 was a bitch right up to and with the last day, and I don’t want a repeat. Won’t bore you with the details, but one of the things I’ve spent some time pondering is chores, schedules, plans and to-do lists. So now is as good a time as ever to create new routines.

I love making lists, it seems to declutter my head (a bit) and oh, the joy of crossing something out! But. I also learned that those lists in fact add considerably to my stress levels. Must do! Look how busy I am! I make short term day lists and long term big chores lists. Tape them to the kitchen cupboard.

Then I tried something new, I put them away. And realised that A, I can learn to not repeat them in my head all day in case I forget and B, I actually get just as many things done anyway. Perhaps even more, actually, because less time is spent fretting over the amount of items. I’m learning that not all things are equally important nor urgent, who’d have thought!?

So my hope for 2013 apart from a smoother ride, is to keep reprogramming my whole mindset about these things and just really go with the flow. Leave room for lots of breaks and marvel if I don’t need them! Rather than feeling guilty for sneaking them in. I still have goals, but every step I make towards each one is fine, no deadlines.

So how do you all juggle the stuff that “needs” to get done, stuff you want to do and all the rest? Do you deliberately limit yourself to a manageable number of hobbies/activities so you don’t spread yourself thin, do you schedule heavily, delegate chores (I knew there was at least one reason I should have had kids!), happily swim in a sea of options, picking as you go along?

(some of) The List

  • Scan my old negatives (3 heavy binders full)
  • Play with sampling/mixed media
  • Start painting again
  • Try garden printing
  • Organize my image files
  • Finish my garden chores (separate list!)
  • Clean ALL the things!
  • Exercise regularly
  • Meditate daily
  • Drink more water
  • Create a work schedule and stick to it
  • Design sweaters
  • Don’t worry
  • Ride more
  • Clutterfree desk
  • Be happy
  • Spin the karakul and other odd wools for weaving (and to clear storage space)
  • Make a loom and start weaving
  • Get books on weaving from the library (probably in that order)
  • Don’t worry
  • Spin ALL the wool, then buy more.  Dye it.
  • Write every day, not just the silly blog
  • Clean up the courtyard between buildings
  • Carry all the firewood inside before winter done
  • Restore order to the barn
  • Wash horse blankets done
  • “Quilt” collages from cutout water colours
  • Process box of fiber from “Goliath” the camel
  • Tonnes of dull sewing and repairs…
  • Finish knitting projects
  • Learn about felting. Get books from library. Etc.
  • Work on the other artsy project ideas (separate list)
  • See people
  • Go new places
  • Order new firewood and stack it
  • Declutter garage (Oh my)
  • Empty wash room, tear down wall, build a new one
  • File backups
  • Find a/some nice yarnbase/s to order in bulk for dyeing
It's a scary, exciting world! Arthur's first trip outside the house.
It’s a scary, exciting world! Arthur’s first trip outside the house.

17 thoughts on “To do list or not to list

  1. Wow, that’s a long list!

    The one about scanning my negatives is on my list too, and it has been there for several years. I even bought a scanner, scanned some and then forgot all about it… But recently I have been on a drive to organise my photos and back them up online, so perhaps this year I will finally get round to it.

    Happy new year to you, I hope it will be a good year, full of creativity, painting and fiber crafts!

  2. I love your list—the mix of little tasks, big jobs, and giant accomplishments. And the picture of the cat is great—the colour scheme makes sense now. 😀 Happy New Year! Here’s to chipping away at the lists.

      1. Oh, I understand the point. Believe me. My lists look like your lists, lol. That’s why I can smile at your list. I say keep the list for reference, but be careful it doesn’t become a weight. Look at it more as a map of your goals than a ‘must do’ list. I find the real challenge is in how to actually help myself accomplish the tasks (or goals) on the list. After many, many, many years, I think that I’ve finally got it down to two strategies that work: 1) breaking a single task down into its smallest steps and only trying to do one or two of the “micro-steps” a day. That’s it. This came from a great author named SARK, and is incredibly effective at making huge tasks (like “restore order to the barn”) actually doable. 2) Method number two is just sucking up and doing it. Sigh. 😉

        1. Microsteps rule. (I’ve read about SARK, but I’m on an Amazon diet at the moment)

          What I’m trying out at the moment is to make a list of tasks, mix of chores and fun, that should be easily done in 3 days, then let myself have all week to complete it. I can have a maximum of 2 week lists at a time, I’m not allowed to add to them, but I can get up and do something not on the list if I feel inclined.

          And, just to keep myself to the promise, as of today I’ve decided that every time I sit down at the puter I must fill my water glass and bring it here. There, it’s public for all the world to see….

  3. Nej hvor det minder om mine (ikke-)lister. For et par år siden blev jeg enig med mig selv om at jeg ikke ville skrive lister, kun ideer. Og det har hjulpet. Jeg får lavet flere sjove ting, min væg er blevet flottere at se på med alle de tossede ideer hængt op, og jeg/vi får grinet mere.
    For øvrigt de der søndagsfarveskemaer – er der en hemmelig fremgangsmÃ¥de eller nogle gode tricks – jeg ville rædsomt gerne prøve, og min eneste idé er at “samle farverne op” i MS Paint og lave smÃ¥ firkanter – giver det mening?

    1. Der er ikke nogen hemmelighed, jeg gør det samme, blot med Photoshop eller Illustrator. Jeg har en fil med færdige, tomme firkanter jeg bruger som skabelon. Der findes et lille program, som jeg har i en gammel udgave: Color Schemer. Der kan man samle op fra hele skærmen uden at decideret Ã¥bne andre filer og lave en “liste” med farver. Disse kan man sÃ¥ justere i lysstyrke og intensitet, matche med nuancer der passer og sÃ¥ gemme hvert sæt som en fil. Man kan dog ikke Ã¥bne disse schemes i fx Photoshop til senere brug, sÃ¥ man skal sidde og kopiere hver hexkode. Muligt at den nye, meget avancerede version kan!

        1. Tak skal du have. Så vil jeg bare fortsætte med mine egne tomme firkanter i Paint. Der er nogengange totalt overraskende at se farveskemaet i et billede sådan pindet ud. Det kan være jeg blogger nogle af dem, især et snelandskab overraskede mig totalt, farvemæssigt set.
          Tak for inspirationen.
          PS. Jeg har selvfølgelig hængt en udskrift op pÃ¥ min inspirationsvæg 😉

          1. God ide at printe nogen af sine inspirationer ud – jeg plejer bare at gemme dem i en elektronisk mappe, men pÃ¥ din mÃ¥de bliver man jo pÃ¥mindet lidt mere “passivt” og hele tiden.

  4. Your list has some exciting things on it! Clean All the Things is on my list, too. And unfortunately, I’m no good at the delegating, even with a kid and husband. I just want to Do All the Things myself…

    Little Bird, who just sidled up to the computer, wants me to say that your kitteh is beautiful.

    1. Ah, yes, the control-freaking has been on my task list for a while as well, that is, letting it go. And thanks Little Bird, I rather think Arthur is a little charmer too. 😉

  5. I’m a bit of a list queen myself. I have no answers at all to the dilemma of list keeping vs going with the flow. But I’m interested in how others manage this question. And I also agree that micro-steps help!

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