When I Don't Start My Day With A List...

I’m a big fan of list making. I’ve done a few posts on it over the past year, including a couple YouTube videos on my process of having a master list, and extracting three priorities from that list each day for my sticky-note list. With the holidays I made the very conscious decision to let go of my schedule a bit and just see what happens. While I’ve found it to be relaxing and liberating, I’m starting to wonder if my personal project journaling is basically going to become a procrastinator’s log book. I’m still convinced that documenting things will help me look back and learn something valuable, though. So I’ll keep the journaling up! While today was all-in-all rather productive, the personal project that sits highest on my priority list saw none of my time again today. We’re 2 for 2. 

Here’s a funny thing. This is what happens to my day when I don’t start it with my sticky-note list. I HAVE to suspect other people operate this way but have to ask: do you ever start a task, then you realize you could knock out another task, and as you knock out this other ask you happen onto yet another sub-task, and before you know it you’re several levels deep into sub-tasks before you make your way back to the original task you started with. Does this happen to anyone else? 

I knew today would be a challenge to fit my personal project in when I made the decision to sleep past 5:30am. I woke at 6:30, fed the cats, and went to make coffee. My favorite mug wasn’t in the cabinet so I put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher. One of the cups had some dishwasher water cradled in the bottom of it which spilled onto the floor when I picked it up, so I went for a paper towel, but we had run out of paper towel. I went to the garage to grab a few rolls and since the toilet paper is right there, I grabbed a couple 4-packs while I was at it because I remembered the master bathroom and the kids bathroom were both running a little low. I passed the dryer on the way back in with my armload of paper goods, and remembered I washed/dried the bathroom rug because the cat had thrown up on it, so I could take that back to the bathroom and drop off the toilet paper. I set the paper towel down while I completed that task, and while I was putting the bathroom rug down I realized we had a whole load of laundry that needed to be done, so I went into the closet to collect the dirties and saw that I had a whole basket of cleans that needed to be put away so I started putting those away when I realized how much I really loved how clean my second drawer was from the clean-out I’d done last week, so I started cleaning out my third drawer to create that nice feeling I’d just experienced from second drawer. In order to finish my clean-out I needed a trash bag from the kitchen which reminded me I could take the dirties I’d collected back to the laundry room, start the load, and replenishing the paper towel supplies in the kitchen and finally return to my original task of making some coffee.  

The whole day played out like this, one thing leading into another, then another. It was a really good day and many things that needed to get done, got done. Yet I can’t help but feel like I failed a lot today because I didn’t spend that ONE HOUR on my personal project. If I learned anything from #tinychallenges, it's that sometimes we fail because we’re trying to take on more than we can reasonably handle given how much our day-to-day lives tend to require of us. SO. I’m going take a step back and stick to the #tinychallenges approach with my personal project tomorrow. I'm shifting the goal of working on my personal project for only 5 minutes tomorrow, first thing upon waking up. I’ll let you know how it plays out in tomorrow’s post.

See you then!