For The Love Of Lists!

As basic as basic can be, everyone writes them. And most will even use the big L word in conveying how much they enjoy them. 
From shopping and to do, to 5 or even 10-year plan lists, there is no getting away from them, and I am most happy about this. 

Once before, on my old blog I wrote a post called “A list of lists”, and as simple as the post could be, it got a great response and I honestly think there is so much importance and impact that can be gained from writing things down, pen on paper, old school and giving yourself the necessary steps laid out in front of you to get to the place you need to be getting. 

The thing about writing with a pen or pencil onto paper, be it a scrap so that you don’t forget something or a beautiful new notebook that you almost don’t want to spoil with ink, is the personal therapy that you go through in the process. Not un-different from blogging, except perhaps blogging takes a little more thought. I believe it is so important to spend 5 minutes actively writing something down rather than tapping into your phone more than we already do. 

Unloading your mind, thoughts you didn’t even know where whirring away up there and saving your brain space by getting the words out there is a relief to your system that doesn’t translate in many other ways.

It is a way to plan, prepare, and see things that you can get excited about!
Below I’ve made an updated and slightly more grown-up list of lists to the older version that you may (or may not) have seen on my younger self’s blog. 

The Monthly Outgoings and Incomings List 
I’m sorry to start with this, but let’s just get it out of the way, shall we? 
Easily my least favourite, most daunting, yet also most effective list of them all.

To sit, workout, plan, and prepare our finances is a heck of a grown-up thing to do. I don’t know how I have talked myself into writing this, but I do believe in the importance of it. 
I find that the best time to do this is on payday, so that when you sit and go through your accounts, at least you know that initially unlocking your account won’t be the scariest that it could be. 

Sit down, take some time without any distractions and work out all of your monthly outgoings and incomings. 
From this, you should be able to see where your disposable income or ‘leftover’ figure falls and then be able to break that down again into how much you’re left with a week. Be sure to tuck something into a savings account if you can, also. It doesn’t have to be much, even just a £10 a month so that you won’t really notice it. 
To save anything a month can be something that most people don’t think they can afford to do, but £10 a month is realistically less than a takeaway coffee a day for 3 days. It can be done. 
At the end of this list,  you should have some figures down on your paper stating your income (salary), outgoings (mortgage, bills, tax, gym subscription, Netflix and Amazon Prime..), disposable income and also (if you’re feeling brave) list your frivolous spends that keep popping up through your monthly statement. How many times does Cafe Nero, Co-Op, Marks and Spencer, ASOS, or Sainsbury’s for less than a weeks food shop, appear? Probably more than you’re proud to say.

This list, whilst not fun, will hopefully highlight things that will need re-addressing, potentially enlightening your mindset when it comes to knowing what you can and shouldn’t spend.
And hey, once this is done, it’s done! Get it out of the way, and then you only need to do it every 6 months or so when situations change.

The Food/Meal Prep List
A yummy mummy kind of list, but oh so helpful too. *makes mental note to write next week’s meal list*
Meal planning is the type of planning that has a myriad of good results. 
Not only can this save you money and potentially help you straighten out your diet, but the stress that it relieves as a result of not panic buying and then late night cooking is wonderful. 
Get your pen poised, and let’s list the reasons this is something you need stuck to your fridge door. 
Meal planning is no easy feat, I understand that. In fact, my one true meal plan was written by my PT in the gym. That’s right, I didn’t even get around to doing it myself. Because who has time, right? No. We do have time, we just don’t make the time. In the evening when we’re comfy on the sofa and full from our evening meal, I should certainly be using this time to work out the meals that we’d like the following week so that in turn, I can plan my shopping list and see which ingredients will be needed between the meals. So much more cost efficient than conveniently nipping to the supermarket for this or that every day. Something we’re all guilty of, and something that always happens when we’re already hungry…

The Time Management List
Hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, annually.
Listing my goals and to-dos are some of my favourite things to do. 
I have been known to start a ‘to do’ list with “write to do list” purely so that I can tick it off. 
Time management is crucial in my opinion, and not just to make sure you get everything done but more so to make sure that you don’t do anything for a while.
We are all busy, all the time. “How are you?” “Busy! You?” “Yeah me too, really busy these days”. When did this become a response? And why do we measure our success by constantly running out of time or working overtime because we’re busy? 
Beth Sandland has written a cracking piece on exactly this. Something I had on my ‘subjects to blog about list’ but having read hers, I don’t think I need to now! 
Managing your time by writing the things you need to do is an age-old trick and so satisfying when you tick off that last task. But does everything need to be done right now, today? Perhaps there’s miraculously a spare half an hour tomorrow in your lunch break that you can run to the bank, pick up that beautiful new nail colour from Boots, or outline that new blog post? 
You don’t have to have it all done already. 

I have that hour for lunch, five days a week, and I’m so lucky for that – don’t worry, I know. Because I know I have that each day I can factor that time in for some of the things that I need to do. One of them is reading in my lunch break! Making that bit of me time every day because I’ve planned ahead and worked out what time I have around everything else that I could possibly do with all the power and ability that I have. 

This is getting rambly, head over to my time blocking post here to have a deeper understanding of ways to time manage. 

All The Other Favourite Lists
It feels right to wind up this post with a list of lists that need no explanation, things that are just really useful to have on hand and that you will probably already have in your phone notes. 
Maybe, just maybe, you’ll get caught up in this to the extent that I do; you’ll buy yourself a sassy new Molskine notebook – something a little nicer for the lists that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon- and you’ll headline the pages ready for these lists:

– Birthdays
– Passwords and usernames (maybe just omit certain punctuation or capital letters)
– Present Ideas
– Travel Goals 
5 year plan
Happy things 

Happy listing! x