No, I haven’t got my seasons wrong. I am a list person. Not in a casual “sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t” way, but a dedicated devotee. In fact, I think I may be a list abuser. Not of shopping lists, they are still untainted and remain the sensible itemisation of grocery and household requirements carefully listed in the order of the supermarket layout from door to checkout. (If you don’t do this, stop reading now). I mean those lists of domestic tasks you want to achieve over a weekend or holiday break.
These too used to be honest lists of sensible and achievable targets, with a sprinkling of youthful ambition. Things like:
Steam clean bathroom
Paint front door
Then corruption set in. The lists started to change. Gradually, I started adding smaller things that were part of my routine anyway, like ‘do ironing’, to make me feel like I had achieved more. Take control, I thought. So I would set a goal – say if the list had ten tasks, I had to complete five. This worked for a while, but then, I am ashamed to say, I started to cheat my own system and jobs which had already been finished were included, just so I could cross them off and hit target!
But it didn’t stop there. The sheer number or scale of bigger tasks became even more ambitious, and of course to be able to continue with my self-imposed achievement percentage, the smaller tasks had to be something I could and would definitely accomplish. They now look something like this:
Paint front of house
Save the world
Stroke the cat
Guess what I have achieved so far?? If only I had put ‘writing a blog post’ on there…
Here’s a notepad I can make use of: