Monday, May 3, 2010

List Management

“I’m home all day long, but I don’t think I’m doing as much as I should,” a stay-at-home mom friend told me recently. She spoke of starting things, but not finishing them and of feeling that she had to stop everything when the phone rang. “After all, I’m not working, so I should have the time. But it ends up that I don’t get anything done!”

When I was pregnant with my son, I was laid off from my job due to the office re-locating. On the one hand, it solved my question about maternity leave. On the other hand, suddenly having all that free time was intimidating! I had spent 8 years in the working world at that point, and I didn’t want to lose my edge or have my brain turn to mush.

I decided that I would become a manager -- of my home! No, I wouldn’t have org charts or weekly meetings. But I knew that if I viewed home management as a business, I would feel more fulfilled as I went through those daily tasks. What I came up with is the advice I gave my friend.

“Take your organizer, or if you don’t use one, just a pad of paper. Each day, write down a list of what you want to accomplish that day. This helps you focus on what you want to do,” I told her.

I got a lot done during those months before my son was born, which helped that nesting instinct! And after he was born, the lists of course got shorter, but I was still able to cross things off. Once my daughter was born and again when I took a part-time night job, the lists came in handy as I decided my daily and later weekly priorities. Where I couldn’t accomplish everything in one day, I would break up tasks (like “clean the house”) over the course of the week.

Making a list makes you set a daily or weekly goal. Why not start today? What is one thing you want to accomplish today?

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff, Christine. I'm a LIST person as well! I have to admit that many times I end up loosing the list!! But it's OK, I've still benefited from the process of listing and organizing my thoughts. I'm usually able to keep most of the 'list' in my head if it's lost anyway!