Dealing with the to-do list

I have discovered a great way to deal with my to-do list. You know, that list that sits on the worktop, or table, or wherever, with all the things you are planning to do when you have the time; when you feel like doing one or two of them; when you can afford it etc.

I got up the other day and made a to-do list for that day. I’ve started keeping a little book especially for the purpose. And I wrote down those things I had already done and put a big tick through them, in a different colour. I realised how good that made me feel, writing down and putting big ticks through the things I had already done. As I went through the day, ticking things off and putting in other things I had done that wouldn’t normally make it to the to-do list and ticking those off too I felt a sense of achievement that was very satisfying.

I think, for me, this is a good policy, a way of encouraging and supporting myself and appreciating that, actually, I generally do quite a lot. A lot of the day is made up of doing little things, work aside, and we tend to discount them because they are semi-automatic. Check emails, order things that we need, do the washing-up.

Doing this, and smiling at myself for entertaining myself in this way, is another small step in moving forward. We all have to keep taking these small steps – sometimes they are big steps that take a lot of courage and pats-on-the-back from ourselves – to deal with life, that huge amorphous thing we wake up to every morning. We need all the self-help we can dish out to do that.