Monday, March 17, 2008

To Do...

I hope y'all had a blessed Lord's Day, and are ready to face your week with strength and purpose.

I needed strength and purpose when I faced the kitchen this morning! Mondays always seem so hard. But, thank the Lord, the kitchen sink is now empty, the floor is swept, the counters are scrubbed, ...and my laundry is even hanging up to dry!

Today I have been pondering the usefulness of "To Do Lists". If my older sister reads this post, she'll have to suppress a grin, 'cause she is the "To Do List" queen of our house. I can find her 3x5 cards just about anywhere. She has a "To Do" card on the piano, on her bedside stand, on the refrigerator, on the dryer....sorry, sis, I threw that one away this morning. It was weeks old, anyway.

Anyway, I suppose I could be called the "I'll-do-it-when-I-get-to-it" queen of our house. Not exactly a flattering title. ...So, this past year I have determined to truly be a virtuous woman who worketh hard.

I've begun to discover ways to motivate myself. Singing is one of those ways. So is praying. And so are "To Do Lists."

On my bedside stand I have a small blue notebook, just about the size of a 4x6 card. I got it at the dollar store, and it was a worthy investment. :) That little notebook is where I keep my "To Do Lists." I don't make a list every day, but when my head is swimming with so many little tasks that I know need to be done, I turn to my notebook. Just writing everything down relieves the stress of having to remember all my tasks.

The great benefit of making a list is the speed at which things get done. I can move from task to task without stopping to figure out what I need to do. I have the list, I know what needs to be done, and I can pick a new task as fast as I finish an old one. I like the fact that I can pick what I do first. Crossing things off is fun, too, because I see the progress I am making. (Of course, sometimes I have to add something that I forgot to write down earlier, and my list grows faster than it shrinks!)

This doesn't just pertain to housework. I list the letters I need to write, the items I need to go shopping for, the person I need to call, the prep. I need to do for a meal, the lesson I need to teach ....anything I need to do, or want to do.

This past Saturday, I had a list all ready to go. During the week I had been walking around the house spotting things that needed to be fixed or accomplished, but I didn't have time to do, and I made a list for Saturday.

Here's a few of the tasks I had written down:

~ Sew the ripped panel on the love seat
~ Clean Toilet
~ Clean under couch cushions
~ Write thank you note to Mrs. ___
~ Spend time with Snickers and Midnight (2 of our pets)
~ Go shopping with Mom for groceries
~ Clean red car, inside and out

As soon as breakfast was over Saturday morning (which was a little late, compared to week days), I was ready to go. I headed straight for the love seat first, because I wanted to start with a task I was eager to do. Sewing the rip took only 10 or 15 minutes. Then I cleaned the toilet, which was another 10 or 15 minute job. (I used to hate cleaning the toilet, but a long time ago Mom assigned me to clean it, and I've learned to like it. Yeah - honestly.)

I wanted to clean the car next, but it was being used, so I sat down and wrote the thank you note. (You see, lists can be flexible.)

As soon as I was done writing, I tossed all our couch cushions out of the way and gave our furniture a thorough vacuuming. I had to hurry because Mom was ready to go shopping. I couldn't believe it was only 10:something in the morning and I had already finished many of my cleaning jobs.

Shopping took us until lunch time, and I was sure ready for pizza when we got back! Yum! Sitting down for lunch cost me some of my momentum, and I didn't get back to work until 2:00.

Again, the red car was being used, so I spent some time walking and training our dog, Midnight. I also snuggled awhile with my rabbit, Snickers.

By the time the car was free, the sky was looking as if it might rain, so I never did clean our car. There were several other things on my list (not shown) that I decided not to do, but I was pleased with my day over all. I even had some free time in the afternoon to read and have some computer time!

I'm sure that any mothers who read this blog already know what I've written, and could teach me lots about time management. In fact, I'd like to close this post by asking for any of my readers - moms or not - to share time-management tips that they use to redeem their time. After all, it all belongs to God. Let's make good use of His time.

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