Thursday 28th September 2017

How are you at organising your time and your life? I've gone through phases of feeling very busy and weighed down by loads of tasks all at once and then don't have anything begging for my time for a while (although the later not so much!). This time of year sees us all getting busier with the run up to Chr..... maybe I shouldn't mention that word yet! Kids are back at school or university, whether that's our own or family and neighbours. This makes a big difference to everything, whether that's our own timetable or affecting traffic with increased numbers of cars and school buses on the road.

October and November are particularly busy for me this year, especially November with not a free weekend, but that's a good thing. 4th/5th November is the meetup in Manchester we’ve had planned for a while (with Jan Carruthers). 11th November sees the first craft fair of the season for me and on 18th November I’ll be off to the States for two weeks.

I’m putting together a slideshow of family pictures for a family event coming up. I’ll probably end up with over 80 pictures and these will be displayed as a continuous loop slideshow at our event on a big screen (or laptop if that doesn’t work, or both). There are a lot of these smaller tasks I’ve put myself forward for doing which aren’t particularly difficult but end up being more time consuming than I originally thought. But isn’t that the way? We think “oh that’s an easy quick job” and it never is!

So, how do I stop my brain getting in a spin and not forgetting everything? It can be a challenge! I often watch videos on productivity, being organised, research “to do list” and “task managing” type apps for my phone. I’ve still ended up mainly relying on a very simple system in a notebook. The notebook just has plain ruled paper and I’ll head a new page with the date. On the page will be listed all the things I need to do and not forget, I’ll add any new ones as they crop up. After a while (no fixed timescale), I’ll start a new page, head it with the date and rewrite the list omitting tasks finished and adding any new ones. A new page generally gets started when there are enough changes to the last one. This is my definitive list of everything I need to remember to get done, everything from a commissioned crochet project, making a dentist appointment, chasing up someone for a picture for the slideshow, researching a future holiday destination etc. We have a kitchen calendar as we need something the whole family can see. I also have a very large desk diary (so it can’t get lost!) as well as a calendar on my phone (with alerts for events and other features).

A while ago, in one of my organisational moods, I started making a definitive list of all the websites with which I have an account. Over time, I've made alternations to the list, adding some accounts I had forgotten about and deleting some when I had closed an account. I am in the process of closing an old Yahoo email account so just need to make sure I have nothing associated with it and it’s not being used as a secondary back-up email address for any accounts. Yahoo have had privacy problems over the last year or two and I’ve had problems with another Yahoo account with spam messages coming from it to my contacts. So it’s time to separate myself from Yahoo for emails! I have been using Gmail for a while now and much prefer it.

It’s amazing how long these lists are when you take the time to create them. Whether it’s a simple (but comprehensive) “to do” list in a notepad or list of websites you have an account with but I find making lists very useful in many ways. Helps clear my mind and set tasks for the day for one thing!

That’ll be it for today. At some point, I plan to label my blogs in a more descriptive manner rather than just having the date as a title. Hope you are all doing well.