fEAsible, getting things done, managEAble, taking stock, to do list

Much ado about nothing in particular…

“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
–  William Shakespeare 


This is the weekend for me that feels like the close to the summer and after the holiday everyone prepares to go back to school and back to work – holidays over we look ahead to the next season and the time spent gathering in before the pre-Christmas frenzy begins.  How soon I wonder will we see Christmas cards displayed in the shops?

It has been a really hard week at work this week and I have had to work over for two nights leaving me both tired and behind with a few household jobs.  I am ready for a little rest now over the holiday – we will be leaving for Scotland and it will be nice to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few days.

Before we go I need to take stock of what tasks I have to do – my Master task list for August was virtually a roll over of the tasks that didn’t get done in July.  Sometimes it is those little errands that keep rolling over and I find my self analysing why.  Maybe I need to structure or write my lists in a different way.  I have been coming back to the idea of ‘Do one thing’ and in fact if I did just one task a day I would have done 365 by the end of the year.  But I know that in reality I do more than one task a day – there are plenty that are not written on my list and some that are there just in case I have some spare time which never seems to happen – hence the constant roll overs.

My list this week went like this

  • Card and present to buy and give to friend at work
  • Recharge camera battery
  • Write cheque for C******** (who helps occasionally in our Scottish garden) and put in post
  • Pay cheque into Mum in laws bank
  • Contact C****** about helping to remove the hedge at the cottage and arrange a date
  • Reply to my friends email update
  • Take mum in laws watch for repair
  • Post electrol roll form
  • Email electricity reading to Scottish Power
  • Look for something to buy with Tesco coupons that have double value until August 29th- (I have £28 – I can exchange £25 x 2 =£50 in any department but food).
  • Buy mascara from boots No 7
  • Buy Jason Thin to Thick hair styling spray from health food shop
  • Buy small hair mousse (for exceptional bad hair days!)
  • Write out a supplement chart to keep in kitchen to remind me to take my vitamins and probiotics.

Nothing too taxing there you might say – probably 30 minutes to an hour and I would have it all done – yes I would have agreed with this but read on… this is what actually happened…

How did I do?

   I bought the card and present after two days of searching after work for a suitable gift only to find that another of my colleagues is celebrating her 40th this weekend – so a quick dash across to Sainsbury’s tonight to choose another card and a few flowers.  Double trip was a bit time-consuming I could should have been more prepared.  Just as a note Clintons Cards have now got a rewards card scheme – buy 10 cards get one free – they punch your card with a hole each purchase – but what, I ask Clintons, if you are less than honest is to stop you punching your own hole on these cards??? (If you have seen them you will know what I mean)

   I will recharge the battery tonight – because I really cannot put off this very quick little task off any longer!

   I wrote and posted the cheque tonight after work but it really should have gone last week.  Every time I thought about it I didn’t have my cheque book with me or the amount to pay and it is something I could should have prepared the night before.

   Pay cheque into mum in law’s bank – I had only just paid one in last week when this one arrived in the post at the weekend so I did this on Tuesday after work only to get home and find that another one had arrived.  That one is still waiting but had they all come together it would save a bit of time as the queue is always out of the door with often only two people serving.

   Delegated – my helpful hubby arranged for the friend to help with the hedge so the tick is really his.

X   Reply to my friends email – this will require a good half an hour as I haven’t written for a while and I have heaps of news – so I keep putting it off.  I need to set aside some time one night after work or encourage her to join Facebook!

X   I have taken the watch to work with me everyday this week but it is one of those specialist shops that has very short opening hours and still closes one day a week. Have not managed to catch it open this week.

   Electrol Roll form posted – this was easy – sign the form – put in prepaid envelope – drop in box – if all life was so easy!

X   Email meter reading – this is always a job I procrastinate over mainly because we have two accounts – one for the cottage and one for home and I never know which one they want as they go by an account number and not the property. I must type out the account numbers and keep them handy in my Filofax.

Pending –  Tesco coupons – £50 is a nice sum of money but what do I need – Don’t they know I am trying to downsize.  We will be passing through a 24 hour Tesco in Scotland tomorrow night at about eleven o’clock – but who can make a decision at that time of night!   I will try to look online first if time allows.

X   Never got to Boots for the mascara or hair mousse – I probably have a coupon too for No7

X   I tried to buy the Jason hair styling spray – I went to the shop twice and it is still out of stock.  I will buy this in bulk next time and replace when I get down to the last one then it won’t be so urgent and I won’t have to make a special trip across town.

I have remembered my supplements each day but I do need a prompt on the kitchen cabinet door – but haven’t done the list yet

These are all just simple tasks – no major project items here – and yet it has taken all week to do only a few tasks and some of them required me to go back and forth like doing the job twice.

One of the questions I keep asking myself is…’do my lists reflect someone who is trying to live a simpler life’?… because to me my life seems to get increasingly busier and my lists longer.  I have to stand in endless queues, make more than one trip because of low stocks in the shops and spend more hours than I care to choosing birthday cards and presents for people who already have everything or like me are trying to downsize their stuff.  I would like more time to make my own cards and individual gifts but at the moment I seem to end up dashing to Sainsburys or Clintons for something very mediocre.

That is the end of my moan – I did say it was much ado about nothing and I am now going to forget all about my lists and tasks and jobs and go where the pace is much more relaxed for a few days and just stare at the sea.  Have a great weekend. let me know what your plans are it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

 

drEAming, hEAlth, random thoughts, wellbeing

Busy doing nothing…

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward

Spanish Proverb

Today I hit 21 again!!!  Well a girl can dream can’t she?  I was given the day off work because it is my birthday and after spending the last few weeks on overdrive I decided that I would quite like to do nothing – in fact a whole day of doing nothing, however, the reality is that I was not sure how to do nothing – especially when you have been used to speeding along in the fast lane trying to keep up with all life throws at you – doing nothing seems quite difficult.

 So for today this is as close to nothing as I could manage

  • Sleeping half an hour longer
  • Eating a leisurely breakfast instead of grazing on the go
  • Pottering around the house putting things away – quite a relaxing pastime really especially when still in your dressing gown (no rush to get washed and dressed today)
  • Taking a very long hot shower
  • Making a healthier lunch
  • Sorting out my planner – weeding out the bits and pieces no longer required and updating To Do lists ready for the ‘back to normal’ speed tomorrow
  • Spending a delightful afternoon chatting with friends who popped in to see me with cards and flowers and presents
  • Catching up with a little TV whilst my birthday tea was prepared (and pudding too) – great treat
  • Relaxing on the sofa after being banned from doing any washing up – even better treat!

I had a lovely day and I am feeling much more rested even though I didn’t quite manage to do nothing – all I have to do now is snuggle down in bed with a good book – I could get used to every day being a birthday.

organising, rEArranging, trEAsure

Organising those snippets of information (Part 1)

with my Systemised Product and Information Folder or ‘SPIF’ for short

For ages now I have been trying to find a way to catalogue and contain all the bits and pieces of information that I seem to collect from sources such as magazines, catalogues and even the junk mail.   These assorted clippings can be anything from a magazine recommendation for a new skin cream, to a newspaper ad for a play at our local theatre, or even a leaflet advertising an upcoming event and I keep them all thinking I might find them useful one day. (Whether this is the case or not is another matter and maybe another blog!)

Up until now I have never really found a good way of collecting and keeping these odds and ends so that I can easily retrieve the information when I need it.  All too often I have discovered details for an event that has passed tucked away in the back of my Filofax and forgotten about. I tried sticking these clippings into a small notebook but soon realised that I couldn’t organise them into any kind of order and in no time at all I had filled the book.

Then one day recently as I was browsing in my local stationery store Ryman I noticed that they are now stocking A5 lever arch binders and A5 tab inserts (even though they are in garish primary colours – what is wrong with plain white???) and this gave me the idea.

So my plan is that I will stick each clipping with Pritt stick to a piece of A5 paper (at work we always have a huge shredding pile where the bottom half of an A4 sheet of paper is unused so I cut them in half to produce a clean A5 piece to use in my Filofax).

This is a clipping advertising Solgar Probiotics that I want to try…

and this is a flyer giving details of some Open Gardens that I was interested in going to


and this is a page from a garden catalogue with various plant frames that I might be tempted to buy- but just not yet.

I have made a separate tab for each category and so far I have

Out and about (Places to go)

Gardening

Supplements and vitamins

Skincare

Foot care

Haircare

Exercise

Gifts

Books / Music

Home-ware Items 

I am sure I may add to this list as I go on or even shorten it depending on how useful it is.  As soon as I have attended an event or the date has passed or I have bought and tried a product or no longer have a use for the clipping I can remove the sheet and throw it away.

When I have the whole thing assembled I will make proper tab labels with my trusty labelling machine but for now I am using a few Post it notes. So far I am loving my new binder already.

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getting things done, managEAble, to do list

Getting back to ORDER…(once again)

After being away for four weekends in a row the house is back in the usual chaotic state it seems to prefer and there is a constant battle going on between myself and the house to get it back into ORDER.

To correspond with the sections in my Filofax these are the areas I have divided my life, goals and tasks into and under each of the headings are the minimum amount of tasks I need to complete in the coming week to get back on track.  It is also a list that I  can use again in the future should the same situation arise – which it no doubt will.

If I can get all these tasks done by the end of the week I should find myself more up to date.

Household Management and Maintenance

  •        Clear dishes each day and shine sink
  •        Putting things away in each room
  •        Empty bins and deal with re-cycling
  •        Clean basin and toilets  – both bathrooms
  •        Clean shower
  •        Sweep and wash kitchen, laundry and shower room floors
  •        Sort laundry
  •        Wash different selection each day
  •        Iron for 30 minutes each day this coming week
  •        Put laundry away when aired
  •        Make a Menu plan for coming week
  •        Shopping list
  •        Shopping for week
  •        Check appointments for week
  •        Rearrange any if necessary
  •        Look at master task list and then make a weekly task list

 Financial and Money Management

  •        Sort and enter receipts
  •        Balance statements
  •        Online banking tasks
  •        Print out mortgage statements for March
  •        Deal with any urgent matters
  •        Attend to letters
  •        List of cards and presents required for the month
  •        Sort through miscellaneous pile accumulated

Health and Self Management and Wellbeing

  •        Continue to use up old products not replacing
  •        Plan healthy lunches for coming week
  •        Shop for items
  •        Arrange repeat prescription from Doctors
  •        Check on supplements to take

 Work

  •        Tidying up desk and surrounding space
  •        Make a task list of all matters outstanding
  •        Deal with any urgent matters
  •        Answer requests outstanding
  •        Delete unwanted emails accumulated

Special Project this Week – Daughters Birthday on Thursday

  • Select and buy card
  • Shop for a couple of small presents
  • Write cheque and make decorative holder
  • Make birthday Cupcakes – Tuesday evening
  • Buy decorations for cupcakes
  • Plan special tea for Thursday