This is #BackToSchool Week…yay! I love being a parent even with its twists and turns but this post is not really about being a parent and it started from a “not typical” parenting book. It started from Outlier: the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell.
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers is one of my favorite books of all time (if you know of any other books like this that you think I will appreciate please recommend!). I am so glad I read this book before I had kids and so it just laid the tracks for what I want to achieve as a person and as a parent. After reading Outliers I was able to better articulate the things that are important to me, my values and the things that are just noise. One of such values for me is quality time. Not just time to pamper myself but also time to spend improving myself, my family and my community.
These days I am busier than ever and I have so much going on in my life. One of my greatest fears is dropping the ball in my responsibilities to God, to myself, to my husband, to my kids, to my employer and even to my community.
Five years ago as a newlywed I was asking myself the exact same question. How do I balance my spiritual life, my job and career, my relationship with my husband amongst other thing and not burn out?
A lot of my friends ask me how I keep things together and functioning. I want to share one of my secrets… lists! I have loads and loads of lists and I just recently decided to put them in an organized format so I can share them with others. I have project lists, to-do lists, essentials lists and so on. Now it takes a bit of work but lists are my ultimate go-to organization tool. I started building my lists over 5 years ago and as at today I have more than 15 lists that help me keep my day-to-day running in check.
- Why do I keep lists? I am the Mistress of my Domain. That means I’m the chef, the cook, the personal shopper, the party planner, personal assistant and a whole host of other things but I also realize I have been called to a higher purpose. There is a reason I was placed and am still on the face of this earth and that is to make a difference. So I need to plan my time and organize my routine tasks to leave time to focus on my purpose.
- What can lists do for you? Lists help break stuff down into small pieces that way you can know what you need to focus on and you know when you are completed. I honestly cannot sell this idea more than this.
- So why are checklists important? Because they help me focus on what’s extremely important. Like spending time with my hubby and kids, improving myself and even writing this blog and other things.
As an aspiring PM (project manager), I tend to think of things in terms of ITTOs. That’s Input, Techniques, Tools and Outputs. So my lists are my tools. I will discuss certain techniques much later but as I tell my hubby all the time… Google is your friend.*winks.
This is beginning to sound like I am in class. Have I mentioned before that I have “teacher blood” in my veins? So ladies …. School is in Session!!
Lists are not cast in concrete. You have to make them your own. I move things around all the time. Some items move to the shopping list and then shopping gets on to the to-do lists. Do you get the picture? Another thing I need to mention is how often I review my lists. Some lists I review daily, others weekly and some as the occasion presents itself. I have a wedding planning list and I’m already married. But overall this prevents me from being a sugar-salt-borrowing wife. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that before I get crucified but once, twice, you become a nuisance … I’m just saying.
Did I forget anything on this checklists? What would you add?