I like lists. Mostly to do lists. I don’t always love the to-do’s on the list, but there is a definite satisfaction that comes with checking items off as they are completed. Sometimes, I’ll even tack on already completed items to the list, just to cross something out. When I started using lists in college, they looked like this:
- Study for finals
- Dorm meeting
- Work shift at the restaurant
- Buy flowers
- Lay out in the sun
- 10 cent wings at Granny’s Restaurant for dinner
The joy of college! As expected, over the years, my lists have changed. A smidgen.
I’ve also imposed this chronicling of responsibilities on my children. When they were young, I presented “visual lists” of made beds, clothes in hampers, potty time, and brushed teeth, which graduated to wordy reminders to complete homework, prep backpacks, and clean rooms. Even though they are only half-listening, I tell the kids to “Let the list lead you”. It saves me from the continuous broken record nagging that causes eye rolling, heavy sighing, and the vicious circle of “why’s?!” that ricochet off of every calmly presented request which quickly morphs into a cacophonous command.
Some of our children (the boys) do not embrace the power of lists as much as I do, and employ their own strategies:
1) School Agenda – assignments and tests are written daily, logical substitute
2) Backs of hands – imminent items are scrawled on hands – a unique, yet messy, and hard to miss option.
Conversely, our daughter, armed with a pack of thin markers of every hue, creates colorful, fancy-font to-do lists she designs when she takes a break from preparing her crafty “vocab” cards for school.
STRONGLY RECOMMENDED IDEA: To accompany the lists, I also make a calendar each month and display it in the kitchen where everyone can see the upcoming games, appointments, practices, and other events. Although drawing the design is another item to put on my own TO DO List, I truly enjoy setting it up. It’s my one artful contribution to our home, plus it serves a purpose and answers all of the “When’s my….” or “What time is the…” questions.
Functional and fun.
Although I filmed this in the incorrect format, here’s my process. Take a peek.