. It’s Never Too Early for a List
I don’t really want to say it and maybe you don’t want to hear it, but a Spring is almost here. I saw my first daffodil beaming low from the ground yesterday and I knew it was time to stop, evaluate, and plan. You see, it is the first week of March. If we don’t take a moment right away and look at the next three months, things are going to get out quickly of hand.
So get out a current calendar and get a feel from the shape, size, and pattern of the next three months. Four possible major events are in the wind: Spring Vacation, Easter, Memorial Day, and Summer.
Then take four pieces of lined paper and entitle them EASTER, SPRING VACATION, MEMORIAL DAY, and SUMMER. Fold each of them in half one way and then in half the other way. Title each section of the upper halves of the paper: Questions, Answers. Title each section of the lower halves of the paper: Things to do, Things to buy. Without much thought, “questions & answers” and “things to do & buy” will fill your mind.
For example: Will you be celebrating Easter this year? If so, how? Will you be traveling? Will you need to fill Easter baskets for some treasured children? Do you need to invite someone to spend that weekend with you? What will you do on Saturday? How will you spend Sunday? As questions come into your mind, WRITE THEM DOWN, making a list with generous space between each question down the left side of the EASTER page. Then try to ANSWER EACH OF THE QUESTIONS (as best as you can at this early date) down the right side of the page. Then at the bottom of the page, make up a preliminary TO DO and TO BUY list.
Just as you have prepared an Easter sheet, do the same for other upcoming events. Do you need to buy new duffel bags for summer camping? (Maybe you can add that to your errands list this week.) Where will you be going for your vacation? (Maybe it is time to discuss this with your spouse and/or your children.) On and on the items go.
With your “lists” in hand, you can note down questions, answers, and items needing attention at your convenience. If you have a planner, you may want to blank planner sheets. If you work better from your frig, put these papers on the front of them for the next few days to evaluate your desires and make plans. You will be surprised how quickly and easily you begin to use extra, idle moments to make notations. With these simple lists, you can begin to consolidate plans and focus your attentions for a successful Spring season.
The pattern is always the same. Start early to plan, make initial lists to get your mind rolling, and then put items of action into your regular routine. This year can be different, less stressful, and more fulfilling. Just start now and begin the magic of being early, relaxed, and on top of things.
P.S. You may want to do this “Stop, Evaluate, and Plan” about every quarter. You will do it again at the beginning of summer, at the beginning of the next school year, at the beginning of the holiday season. Then the whole year can be different for you!
Find more helpful ideas in “House of Order” Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission.