I mentioned in my previous post that I had been planning – most of my planning still takes place in my ancient A5 planner – I was introduced to planners at work in the 80’s, it came with my promotion – a leather ‘Time System’ planner but the better known Filofax is very similar and more recently the Bullet Journal system is now the new time planner, only more decorative.Everything was recorded in my planner – both for work and home and I didn’t go anywhere without it. I still smile now when I remember those early days of time management planners – whenever I attended a meeting for work everyone else would arrive carrying theirs too and we would end the meeting synchronizing planner time! I still use mine out of habit – paper has always been my thing.
My planner is divided by a series of sections and each is full of ideas, lists and tasks – at the end of the day there is something very satisfying about making a little tick mark against a completed task, especially a task that has been rolling over week after week from one list to another most annoyingly.
Recently I bought a book titled L’art de la Liste by the same author Dominique Loreau who wrote L’art de la Simplicité: How to Live More with Less. She throws a whole new perspective on my love of lists. She likens a list to a haiku (an expressive Japanese poem) or a journal as it becomes a record of your life and suggests the advantage of making lists allows us to rethink and restructure our ideas.
After a recent clear out I found a stack of my old to do lists and notes, which I have put aside to shred or burn on the cottage bonfire. They can be quite enlightening and a reminder of what I have actually done with my time over the years. After reading the book I may decide not burn them after all – but then that is not in keeping with a simple and minimalistic lifestyle…
– so such is my dilemma.
My word for the year is ‘transition’ as I am currently undergoing a period of big changes so my transformation to a simpler more streamlined home and lifestyle will require new routines that fit better with my new life. Streamlining is an ongoing task and a bit like peeling away the layers of an onion. It requires a slow steady approach and to help support my clearing out, paring down and keeping order I need to prevent future piles of stuff from reforming and building up again when I have an unexpected busy period or take my eye off the ball – which I know I will do.
Clutter spots seem to be contagious in this house and my main enemies are the washing and ironing pile, the finances, incoming emails and reading blogs and leaving comments – if I get busy they don’t get done.
So when I read the simple advice in The Joy of Less by Francine Jay to have a daily maintenance plan I knew this was the answer, after all I have time now in the mornings to do more as I am no longer rushing out to work. Taking a few minutes each day to address the problem areas should help to keep the house in good order. So this is my basic list:-
- Put on one load of washing – this must be a full load where possible to save water and energy and is not always necessary every day but checking is.
- Ironing – iron whatever I washed the day before
- Finances – enter the receipts, balance statements and action anything waiting to be dealt with.
- Check and reply to or delete incoming emails for the day
- Blog comments – I include this in the list as keeping up with blogs I read and making comments is better done daily otherwise I find I have too much catching up to do.
I thought it important as well to throw in a bit of daily self-care – something that I should do more of but… oh well you know how it is – so I made a start by adding these to the list:-
- Take supplements – currently my Vitamin D with my breakfast
- Eat one apple a day – my contribution to a healthy diet and usually my mid morning snack
- Exercises – at the moment I am following Posture Queen’s Somatic exercises to help my neck and shoulders, hips and knees.
I began my new routine in the New Year – I switched my week on two pages diary in my planner for a page a day style, with more space I can keep a daily check list that I tick off as I go and this does help me to keep on track and stick to it. When my routine was a bit disrupted last week with the arrival of baby X I didn’t end up with a huge backlog of jobs as I was already on top of things.
I am really pleased – it could be working.
I am sure once my new routines are established I can add in a few more. Getting the daily jobs done and out-of-the-way should leave me more time for the fun things in life.