Wednesday, October 3, 2012

To List or Not List

I used to be a list maker.  I am by nature extremely organized and like order.  Lists were a way to remember what I needed and wanted to do when my poor brain just couldn't.  I felt it kept me organized.  I decided a little while ago to do away with lists unless it is extremely important.  To keep important dates such as appointments and meetings they are in my phone.  Housework?  No more lists.  I have adopted a do what you see approach.  Within reason as I am going through the house and I see that something needs done then I stop and do it.  Obviously I'm not going to drop a load of laundry to start organizing books etc. but when I finish a task and see that something needs done I stop and do it.  If you are a list maker.. you know that it is very satisfying to cross things off the list.  On the same token it is frustrating and stressful to have things on the list that keep getting transferred over to new lists because they don't get done.  I can live without the satisfaction of crossing off to eliminate the stress off transferring things over.  Sound a bit obsessive?  Well it's not lol it's just the ramblings of a naturally organized person and this is how our brains function :)  Everything has it's place and if not ugh.  Since the no list trial I have found I have more satisfaction and sense of accomplishment out of walking through the house and enjoying what is done.  I don't look for things to do, please note if you are not a person who notices when things need done say a dirty bathroom, cluttered surface, full trashes, dusty surfaces etc. then this may not be the best way to go about your chores but for me it has been a new stress free way to keep my home.

An example?  How about the microwave... As I was defrosting meat I noticed that it really needed cleaned.  While the meat was browning I cleaned it out.
 Doesn't that look nice!  Notice there seems to be no top to the microwave? Well here is the full picture:
Looks a little different doesn't it!  I had to get back to making dinner, but later on after the dinner dishes were cleared away and the kitchen was tidy I had a few moments to de-clutter the top and sort out everyone's papers that were stashed on top.  In fact by taking about one minute longer I moved the microwave over and wiped under it as well!!!  That was on a to do list a couple of times but didn't happen.  Here's what it looks like now.  Much better!!! 
The purpose for the example?  Previously I would have added clean microwave to my "to do" list.  At some later time when I got to it on my list I would have thoroughly cleaned it inside and out but definitely not today.  Probably  tomorrow when I got the dreaded list of not fun stuff out.  Instead if I just tackle something when I see it and have a minute even if it's not the full blown project it's getting done and finished faster than if on a list and I am free of the guilt of seeing things not crossed off the list.  Ahhh much better :)


Donna said...

I'm finding that I am forgoing lists,too. I do have the major outdoor jobs on a list for Rick,but for myself,I look around and see what needs to be done that is not part of the daily upkeep. One day I might organize my closet,the next,I might file away papers that have accumulated on top of the printer. I seem to get more satisfaction from doing it that way as well :)

prairieharmony said...

I am finding it so liberating!!! I really believe I get more done this way because I do not put off until tomorrow what can be done today as the saying goes :)

BLD in MT said...

As a list maker myself I might have to try this. I do dislike the things on the list that just hang out there for a long time, or that get moved from list to list. And I always get distracted doing what I see even when its not on the list anyways. Hmmmm....not making list....interesting.

prairieharmony said...

I would love to know what you think BLD in MT if you decide to give it a try. :)