Awhile ago, I became frustrated by how little I was getting done with my time. It felt like all I did was work, eat and sleep. My home life was a mess and completely disorganized. My life was completely unbalanced and I was tired and depressed all the time. I would look back at the week and think, ‘Why did I waste all that time watching TV?” but in the moment I would be tired and couldn’t find the motivation to do what I needed to do.
I am a real list maker and find that having ongoing to-do lists really helps me at work. Without a list, I often waste time trying to figure out what I should do next. Also, I get a lot of enjoyment out of crossing something off a list. I realized that I needed a list for at home. I needed an ongoing list though- not just one that covered my immediate needs- and it needed to include things other than just housework to comtribute to a balanced life.
I began by putting together a list of things that I wanted or needed to do. Some of the things I wrote were: working out, baking, playing piano, budgeting and filing, housework, knitting and even spending time with friends.
I grouped these things into categories such as mind, body, health and so on. I made sure that each category had different items in it and that some of the activities included were ones that I enjoyed. This way I wouldn’t see the list as only a chore.
Next I decided how much of each item I wanted to do. Some of the activities I assigned a time allotment. ie; 2 hours working out and 2 hours housework. With activities like laundry, I assigned myself 2 loads. I also included some vague goals such as ‘2 friend efforts’ and ‘2 family efforts’. These could entail having friends over for dinner or writing an email to a family member. Leaving the details out of the goals allows for creativity on my part.
Last, I decided what kind of time frame I would give myself. I start my lists on Mondays so that I can see what goals I’m short on at the end of the week and fill these in with my two days off on the weekend.
I do my best to accomplish my goals but I think it’s very important that you let any unfinished goals go once the end of the week comes around. I’m a perfectionist, so this is an exercise in itself. If you get too caught up in what you finished or didn’t finish, you won’t be inspired to start fresh on the new list. Also, leave your list open to critiquing. You might find that some of your goals were a little unattainable – so change them. Make them more reasonable to keep yourself inspired. If you suddenly decide you want to learn to crochet, add it to the list. If you decide you no longer care how many games of sudoku you play in a week, take it off the list.
My list has dramatically helped me to do so many things that I wanted to. I love to bake but just never seemed to find the time for it before. Now, I aim to do it once a week. I’ve always played the piano but recently my piano was only adding to my weekly dusting routine. Now, I play every week. I’m staying on top of the laundry and finding time to read each week. Most of all, I’m less tired, depressed and stressed. Give it a try!