Using Lists

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I know that some people say that making lists just isn’t too effective.  However, I have to say that if it weren’t for my lists I’d feel like I was getting basically nothing done.  I started making lists after I gave birth to my son and became a stay-at-home mother.  I was encased within the fog of no sleep and endless new-baby tasks.  My husband would come home and ask what I’d done all day and I struggled to remember doing anything beyond baby-related tasks.  So, I started making lists of tasks to be accomplished each and every day.

To this day, my list consists of such things as washing dishes, running the dishwasher, laundry, vacuuming, picking up, etc.  All those little things that you do during the day, but don’t really consider them “work”.  But, my lists also have the bigger things on them like: writing a blog post, chapters for a book, and illustrating the book, along with the dreaded paying of bills, grocery shopping and meal making.

There have been times that I’ve neglected to make lists, however I’ve found that one thing is completely clear.  In order to function, I need a list.  It’s not so much the remembering to actually do what’s on the list, it’s the crossing out of the things that I’ve accomplished.  I get great satisfaction in crossing out the tasks that I’ve finished.  Now when my husband comes home and asks what I’ve done, I can reference the crossed-out list.  Of course, my list often consists of all the things that I’ve done for him so that he doesn’t have to do them – making doctor appointments, calling insurance agents, etc.  All those things where you can be put on hold for thirty minutes or so at a time, which is why I call and he doesn’t.

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Probably one of the reasons I like to make lists is that they keep me accountable to my goals.  Let me know if you’re a list-maker, and if it helps you accomplish what you want to achieve.

The Importance of Being Organized

Okay, so one of my goals for 2015 was to get my checkbook up-to-date. This process actually took me a week-and-a-half working at 30 minutes a day Mondays through Fridays. So, guess what I found when I worked through my checks, deposits and automatic withdrawals? Not surprisingly I found a problem. I was actually surprised that it was just one. But, one that cost me about $400.00. I had called to cancel one of the many trucks that we insure, since my son had sold it; and I had called and cancelled in September. But then, unknown to me, since I didn’t even remotely look at my statement and check my automatic withdrawals, the insurance company made a mistake and put that truck back on my insurance in October. So, there I was paying an additional amount on a vehicle that we didn’t even own. And, this went on from October to January. All because I simply filed my statements and didn’t look at them.

I’ve since called the insurance company, spoke to a very upset customer service representative, and have had the issue resolved. I now pay less than half what I did before, since I also subtracted my wonderful, very old Montero from the policy because we scrapped it and I turned in the license plates a week ago.

So, what did I learn from this experience? Well, being organized means more than simply filing away your bank statements. It also means looking at your bank statements and checking to make sure that you’ve got everything right down to a “T”. Okay, lesson learned. I’ll never again just open the statements and place them in the file thinking, oh what an organized person I am, I’m just so good!

Being organized means knowing just what the heck is going on in your house and finances. You would think that I would have learned that lesson by now, but apparently I’m an extremely slow learner. Well, on to organizing the kitchen this week. Wonder what lesson I’ll learn in there? Most likely that I’ve got multiples of my spices and extracts lurking in the cupboards.