Simplify Your Life Series - Part 4 Write it down
My memory is NOT what it used to be – so I rely on lists to keep me on track. Having a list helps to simplify my life, and keeps me from forgetting important things – so there is a lot less rushing around last minute. Neuroscientists have studied the brain, and they agree that writing things down is a good idea. Our brains can effectively hold about 4 things at any one time.
We have a big white board in our family room. It is perfect for writing down reminders (grocery lists, appointments for the week, etc.) We also have a small white board attached to the front of our fridge that we use for a running grocery list; as we use up items they are added to the list.
It is important to make a realistic “to-do” list with the most important tasks that need to be completed. Don’t feel that you need to write absolutely everything on your list, doing the dishes and laundry is a given, write down the items that are a priority and the items that you might forget without a prompt. I find it extremely satisfying to cross items off my list – some days I am lucky if I get even one item done, but having a list keeps me on track.
I love to use the task list feature on my phone to create a to-do list. I love how it automatically synchs with my laptop, to help keep me organized. Using our technology to write down tasks as we think of them, and to add appointments to our calendars can help to simplify life. At the doctor’s office, I always enter appointments into my phone right away; no more little appointment cards that might get lost. Sticking to one calendar avoids confusion, and with a calendar that automatically synchs with my phone and laptop, nothing gets missed.
One final thing to write down is a list of all your passwords. Even though my Mac auto fills passwords for me, I keep a small notebook with all of my passwords, not only for my benefit but if for any reason my husband needs my passwords, they will be available. I consider this little notebook as insurance.
Previous posts in the ‘Simplifying your life’ series have included issues of Cleaning out the Clutter, Saying No, and Simplifying your Technology.