To do list and the dream list at my house

Sometimes I have to remind myself that this house is only 9 months old and we have achieved a lot already.  So many projects still to do, finishing touches to find, and tasks to finish.   With a limitless budget this would all be done in a flash(note to self "buy lottery ticket").  Failing the lottery we are doing a lot of the work ourselves, making our dollars stretch where they can.  It can be frustrating because it takes longer, but it is satisfying to do something ourselves.    
This is some of what is on my to do and dream lists at the moment:
- order these hooks for hanging towels at the poolside (via abodent)
- look out for long narrow table for bedroom, love the oversize mirrors (via Etcekodeco)
- plant wisteria to catch the season as it turns
- could this (finally) be the light for our dining room or entrance? (via Shelterholic)
- find reasonably priced cobbles so we can finish the driveway

Setting realistic goals:
With Little Miss J in tow things take longer than I would like and its easy to get frustrated.  Ashley from She Makes a Home wrote a brilliant post this week on the importance of setting realistic goals, of coming to terms with the interruptions that come with having a young family.  Ashley was talking about working from home, but it resonates strongly with my desire to get things done, and the frustration of not being able to do everything I want to.  

I would make long to do lists and then get so frustrated when a week went by with nothing accomplished.  The length of the lists were overwhelming, seeing the same tasks week after week demoralising.

I had an epiphany:

  • make a list but divide tasks into necessary, urgent, important & nice to do (yes yes you have heard it before)
  • do the necessary and urgent first and as soon in the week as possible.  Once they are done you get to move onto the fun stuff.
  • schedule in the important, like bills and emails, so you don't get behind.
  • choose one nice to do task each week, yes only one, and focus on getting it done.

On my list above, only the wisteria and the cobbles are important, all the rest are nice to have's or dreams.  It takes the pressure off knowing I only have two things to focus on, and if things go pear shaped this week neither are even important and I can let them go.
Sharing my dreams here helps too, putting the thoughts and images into a post stops them racing around my head.  Also I won't lose track of my ideas and thoughts.

One week I focused on getting the washing line set up.  Sounds crazy but it's a lot of little jobs: finding the drill, two trips to the hardware to get the right size drill bits and screws, finding the position of the wall supports, measuring the correct height, assembling the thing from the pathetic instructions.  At the end of the week the line was up, task firmly crossed off the list forever.  I had to laugh when I read Mia's post at Number-Nineteen on Monday, she is also celebrating the convenience of a new washing line.

This week it has been all about getting the children's clothes sorted as the seasons change.
I have done the sorting but the neatly labeled bundles are still sitting on the table until I buy a new plastic crate to store them in.  It all takes time, it will be done by Sunday.

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