We all have things we need to remember. Whether it’s work, family life or hobbies, we have ways of organising ourselves – task lists, notebooks, reminders, family planners. I have my own methods of (attempting to) organise myself and my family, but recently I’ve noticed that the amount of tasks I have to remember has gone stratospheric with the result that my brain is saying “Nope! That’s too much! I’m not remembering that for you, so forget it and go and have a long bath!”.
I’m not sure why – maybe it’s because my eldest recently started school or maybe my brain can’t cope with anymore organising after wedding planning. Or maybe my ability to retain information has seriously depleted after years of sleep deprivation! It’s as though my mind has a certain task list capacity that runs out, leaving a trail of ‘failed to completes’ in its wake.
I felt the need to document the sort of ‘stuff’ I need to remember on a weekly basis. I was going to attempt to categorise them – but sod that, here’s an example list in all its glory (n.b. it should be noted I sat staring staring at the screen with a sense of forboding for a whole 4 minutes before attempting this. Also, this does not include my work task list, which I keep at work using Outlook! Finally, it should also be noted you may need a large glass of wine after glancing at this list):
- Get bag ready for childminder: remember snacks, drinks, writing in log book, spare outfit for eldest for after school pickup and some fruit.
- Get bag ready for school: remember to include water bottle, any homework slips or forms required.
- Ask childminder to sign me up for a parents evening slot, as I won’t be there to do it myself.
- Buy cake for playgroup for littlest one’s birthday.
- Ensure plenty of clean and dry school uniform is on hand.
- Remember to check spare clothes bag at school.
- Get own bag ready for work; get my lunch ready.
- Ensure school has enough eczema cream, asthma medication on hand.
- Ensure childminder has enough of the same.
- Do weekly inventory of eczema treatments and decide if need to order more from GP.
- Ensure enough special nighttime eczema vests are washed and dry.
- Order more from GP if necessary.
- Create shopping list/do shopping.
- Create ‘mop up shopping list’ and do mop up shop (for things I can’t buy in Aldi haha!).
- Reserve panto tickets.
- Buy school disco tickets.
- Wrap birthday presents.
- Buy birthday cards.
- Organise/pay for swimming class.
- Write thank you cards; remember to post them.
- Think about Christmas presents and start a spreadsheet.
- Post passport form.
- Research new vacuum cleaner.
- Ring about littlest one’s two year check as I can’t make it.
- Clear out toy cupboards to make way for new birthday/Christmas toys.
- Buy new bath towels and mats.
- Organise own hair appointment.
- Finally…think about blog and write some decent blog posts!
Er…why do I get the impression there’s lots of things I’ve forgotten already, despite consulting my lists?!
So, my usual failsafe planning methods, which consist of a variety of lists kept on the ‘notes’ app on my iPhone coupled with calendar reminders, aren’t working. What’s the conclusion? Delegate more? Easy to say but husband has his own stuff to remember. Buy a book about memory improvement? Take on less stuff for myself (boring!).
Or maybe just muddle along…after all, this is family life, right? The tasks get overhelming, but the feelings of reward when you do get to have that longed for bath and you sit back reflecting on what you’ve achieved are worth it.
But if you have some tips on organisation, please feel free to share!