Today’s Read: List Making Tips!

I have an entire notebook for to-do lists. I’m not joking. There’s video below (I’m sorry it’s such a large video. I’m still learning WordPress). I check it every day, I make a new list each week. I’d be lost without it.

However, some stuff will be on the list for decades. That’s not an exaggeration. I had “ticket stubs” on that list for probably 20 years. I finally finished that project last year because, well, pandemic. All I had to do was put my old ticket stubs in a keepsake journal. Easy, right?

But it was more than that, and in my head, it was a daunting task. It was buying the right journals and the right number of journals, sorting the ticket stubs by year then month then date, making them fit in the journal slot holders (something I wasn’t anticipating), hoping none got out of order (one did, and I wanted to start all over again, but I had my therapist in my head, and she was like, “Is it gonna change anything if you leave it as-is?” And I was like, “But I’m gonna KNOW!” It’s true. I still know. But I haven’t fixed it. There are whole days I forget about it though. Because you know, life hinges on that one movie ticket not being in chronological order.)

Anyway.

It gets frustrating to write the same stuff each week. It feels like failure. It’s all, “You still haven’t done that?! Loser.” But I’ve learned this might be an ADD/ADHD thing for me, which, even if I’m not ADHD, I’m definitely feeling understood by the tips and strategies provided to neurodivergent folks for life management.

One reason some tasks never get done is because I haven’t broken up the tasks into small enough steps. But today’s read, this article, helped at least give me something new to try (it’s also linked below the video).

I’ve collected a lot of list making tips over my life. I used to keep stuff on random scraps of paper like the article discusses, but I got tired of forgetting stuff, so that’s where the notebook came in. Also, my chiropractor talked about having a master list, and I do a variation on that.

But writing out a master list every week doesn’t make a lot of sense. An easily updated electronic version, however, makes a shit ton of sense. So, that’s what I’m getting ready to do. I’ll try creating one in Google Docs, so it can go with me everywhere, and I’ll break down each item into smaller tasks. Or at least a few. I’ll also attach some of the other list making and goal-setting lessons I’ve learned like including a purpose and reward by each task.

List making. It’s my everything. I’ll try to remember updating y’all on how it goes! I should probably add that to the list.

https://wholedamnwoman.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/list_notebook.mp4

Today’s Read: Decluttering

I’m trying to get back into daily posts, but I’ll keep them short.

I always have a million and a half articles saved to read, and I rarely get to them. So, I put a daily reminder on my calendar and picked a category for each day like diet culture articles, small businesses advice, etc. I have Wildcard Wednesdays for things that don’t fit my usual categories, and today, ironically, was about decluttering. Reading an article about decluttering to declutter my reading list?! Surely not nooooo.

Anyway, it’s called “‘Clearing our space clears our mind’: Top decluttering tips from professional organizers” by Ryan Ermey, and my favorite part was how it talked about ways to make habits stick. Yesterday, I attended an ADHD webinar about that very thing, and they discussed habit stacking, which is exactly what this article references (the dishwasher/email connection).

Have you tried habit stacking? How do you feel about decluttering? Share your thoughts in the comments, please!

And now, I’m going to declutter one of my desk drawers.

Pandemic Time Is Wibbly Wobbly

The Doctor explains timey wimey stuff. Source: Giphy

How has it been a week since I last blogged?!

Anyway.

The problem I’m facing–as I’m sure a bunch of you are as well–is I can go days without caring about anything because post-Trumpian, pandemic reality is awful, and I’m ready for a new timeline. It’s not gonna happen, but a writer who lives in a fantasy world can dream on paper, in her head, and every other moment, right?

That got away from me.

When I was still teaching in the college classroom, I prided myself on my time management and organizational skills. My calendar was damn near perfect. I knew where I needed to be and when, and if I didn’t, I knew where to look. My grading spreadsheets (that I made) were color coded to my paper folders. I had a notebook with a note-taking system that helped me track everything. I had my shit together.

Then I quit teaching, started my own business, and time no longer made sense. I’ve struggled for almost ten months get organized. I have (literally) six notebooks on my desk, all partially used. I’m using too many apps to get it together, and I’m not sure I understand colors let alone color coding anymore.

I guess what I’m saying is major life changes can throw everything into a river, you included, and leave you to save yourself. But that urgency can help. Throughout January, I hit a low point in the pandemic, and I knew I had to start finding what was actually working. Each week, I experimented with the tools I have, got rid of what didn’t, and I think I’m starting to find my groove. Maybe these tools can help you through this darkness.

  • One notebook for professional notes: I use Em and Friends spiral notebooks THAT THEY DON’T HAVE ANYMORE WHAT AM I GOING TO DO
  • One notebook for personal journaling, which includes menstrual cycle tracking, gratitude lists, self-compassion therapy homework, daily accomplishments, and sleep tracking
  • An online calendar tied to an app: I use Google Calendar, have it pinned in my browser, and have a widget on the home screen of my phone
  • A project management tool and app: I’m using Trello, and things are starting to come together!
  • A time tracking app: I only use this for business purposes, but I use toggl and have it pinned in my browser
  • Sticky notes . . . there are never enough sticky notes
  • Many, many TUL medium ink black gel pens, and if I were single, buying these as a gift for me would be a great way to get me to sleep with you because I am a pen whore
  • Good cloud storage: I rely heavily on Dropbox, but Google Drive is my backup.
  • A trusty browser with tab pinning options like Chrome
  • A place to nap, which is anywhere the older I get

Of course, as needs change, adapting is key, but when I have these tools at the ready, I feel more organized and adulty. Have you tried any of these? What are your favorites besides anything here? What are your best tips for keeping time and stuff from throwing you in a river? Tell me in the comments!