Spring into action with the help of a list!
I’m a big fan of making lists but over the past few months I’ve got out of the habit. I just didn’t feel the need as much. I suppose because life was so different, I wasn’t juggling Artistic ReTreats workshops, my own art classes, studio work, Valley View bookings and family stuff – I was focussed on home schooling and not much else!
To ‘spring’ into the month of March, I excitedly created my first ‘to do’ list of the year. Is this a sign that things are starting to open up and I need to think about what my new ‘normal’ will be in 2021? Yes, I think so! But after the satisfaction of making the list, I came a little unstuck, I was out of practice in the art of actually completing the tasks and didn’t achieve as much as I’d hoped.
This must be a symptom of my lockdown brain not being able to fire on all cylinders. Hopefully all that will change with a bit of practice and the urgency of ‘getting stuff done’ more regularly. It certainly feels like we’re on the cusp of better, busier times with new shoots of optimism popping up along with the crocuses and daffodils.
Are you a list-maker? Does it help to order the chaos of your mind when it’s put down on paper? Some people just like to ‘brain dump’ a list out whilst others use sub-lists, colour-coding and stickers to divide up the tasks. Whichever way you do it, it can really help you concentrate on the job at hand without having all the other jobs racing through your mind.
There are lots of apps and digital ways to make lists these days but many people, like me, still favour the paper and pen method. Seeing a list of things to do on a piece of paper helps you to prioritise and make sense of what needs to be done. It seems that the act of writing something down rather than typing or speaking into a device, can help us remember more securely.
Here are my top three tips for effective list-making:
- Keep it simple – don’t overcomplicate your list, break it down into achievable tasks, so instead of a vague ‘tidy up’, be more specific: ‘take out recycling’ and ‘vacuum living room’ for instance.
- Begin with the easy ones – I sometimes add the obvious tasks to my list just so I tick them off and give myself a sense of achievement. For example, ‘shower’ and ‘empty dishwasher’, even though I know I will do those things anyway.
- Don’t stress – if you can’t get everything ticked off your ‘to do’ list, don’t beat yourself up. Some tasks won’t get done because you run out of time. Some tasks may end up staying on your list for several days – try to work out what’s stopping you from doing these and work on the first steps to achieving them bit by bit.
I hope you’re enjoying writing your lists – and proudly ticking off the jobs! As we emerge into a more productive Spring from the seemingly endless lockdown, let’s celebrate our achievements and be kind to ourselves about what we will get done this year.
If getting back into arts and crafts and trying new, exciting techniques is on your ‘to do’ list for 2021, why not whet your appetite with the Powertex workshops that I’m running from 17th May at www.artisticretreats.co.uk
Photo courtesy of Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplashed.co.uk