07710 172976 sue@valuesliving.com

and mind maps too…

and other exciting things.

with grateful thanks to Lewis Carroll.

Are you a list person?  Or a mind map person?  Or a “fly by the seat of your pants” person, trusting that life will unfold somehow, if you follow its cues on a daily basis?

I have to say that I am all three, depending on what I am currently engaged in.  Or want to be in engaged in.  Or need to be engaged in.  I guess it depends on the ebb and flow of my life at any given time.

When I am operating within a timetable of commitments just requiring my presence, then my trusty diary will suffice.  Hopefully to get me to my destination in time, and then to return to my home base with a minimum of stress and strain.

Recently, however, I have come to value writing lists.  It has been a time in my life that has had to be more self-regulated owing to a number of factors.  Leaving the structure of the school term, with its inbuilt timetabling and structure, has freed up time to concentrate on other things (like writing little articles…).  There are pitfalls, however.  Inner questioning and calibrating.

I suffer periodically from anxiety and depression.  Sometimes this will creep up on me unawares, until I reach the end of the day having accomplished virtually nothing.  Now, I am far from knocking the concept of taking time out to reflect or replenish one’s batteries.  However, I do find that that is so much more effective if there is a conscious decision and permission involved.

This morning I awoke early, aware that yesterday had been just one of those days.  I’m grateful that nowadays I can spot it when this has happened, take remedial action, and move on.  So I wrote a list.  It was a wonderful, grounding feeling to make visual the thoughts that had been milling around yesterday at the back of my consciousness.  There was a basic intent to take back control of the helpful scaffolding in my life, and take action where necessary.

I retrieved the timescale of ongoing projects.  For example, writing some music for recording next week.  This needs to be completed by Sunday, to go to the printers on Monday, to be collected Tuesday, to be recorded Wednesday.  I am on track, but it’s good to have it all out of my head and onto paper.

I scheduled in time for my current sewing project.  This truly is proper ‘down time’ for me, where I get lost in the process, and my only argument is with the machine – and my somewhat rusty skills.

Onto the list went basic tasks for the day:- post office, dog walks, meeting a friend, listening to a webinar, cooking the dinner, sending an invoice, editing an article.  What joy in the crossing off of completed tasks!  Sometimes I will even write down a completed task that hadn’t made it onto the list in the first place, just so that I can cross it off…

Mind maps and ‘free flow living’ can wait for another day I think.  I’m definitely in List Mode today!