As someone who has always struggled with keeping things organised and a lack of ability to prioritise tasks I pretty much lived in chaos until about a decade ago. Two things happened to change this and now I live in a reasonably tidy environment. I still struggle to prioritise things so the second thing helps me when I feel as though I’m drowning in my own incapability.
The first was a tip from my GP and it is so simple I can’t think why I didn’t come up with this as a solution before he suggested it.
Two parts – choose a level of chaos you can live with,
– attempt to live slightly below that level.
It took a few years to get to where I am now and looking around as I write this I see things that need clearing away so that I can concentrate on other things. If they don’t get done then it’s not a problem because the chaos is under the level I’m prepared to live with.
Second tip is equally as simple but one I’d never have come up with. It’s not something I do everyday but when I feel overwhelmed it’s the thing I go to to prioritise things. So what is this magical tool? A three step to-do list.
It works like this – you write one must do item at the top of the list, one needs to be done on the middle of the list and one treat at the bottom. For example, mine today has read Laundry, Wash Up, Read.
The laundry is two sets of towels. I put them in the washing machine as a needs to be done yesterday and today they were promoted to must be done. They are now hanging up to dry.
Washing up today is a needs to be done but not a must do because it is not scattered over every available space in the kitchen, it is confined to a tiny area. It will probably be done today because it’s a small amount but if not it will be promoted to must do tomorrow.
Today my treat is reading. If I’ve done must do and needs do tasks then I deserve a reward. They’re not the only tasks I’ll complete today. I’ll change the cat litter and cook myself something to eat but if they’re the only two things I’ve had to do then I’ve beat the day into a cocked hat and I deserve a treat of my choosing.
One thing I’ve formulated for myself is for big tasks such as changing the bed I break them down into smaller stages and then I don’t feel trapped and overwhelmed by the enormity of something. I strip the bedding, freshen the mattress, pillows and quilt then leave the room. I’ll go back an hour later and put the sheet on the mattress and the pillow cases on the pillows. Finally, while food is cooking for my evening meal, I’ll put the quilt cover on the quilt. That’s three tasks in one so bed changing day gets a bigger treat such as an hour out with a camera or a visit to a second hand bookshop to smell the books.
As promised not a lifestyle blog post but a few things that help me live my life with a little more ease.