Where’s the Grocery List?

    Do you have a grocery list?  Do you keep a daily ‘to-do’ list?  How about a bucket list?  It seems that my life is, and has been, dictated by lists.  Perhaps it began with my mother who had “a list” that I earnestly tried to stay off of but often found myself on, which meant I was in some sort of trouble.  In the Boy Scouts I had a very specific pre-camp packing list to help me stay within the motto of “Be Prepared”.  In the military, as an Aircrew member, we live by checklists.  There is a checklist for when we first get to the airplane, when we fly the plane, and finally as we leave the plane.  I’ve even tried (unsuccessfully) to implement a checklist system at work.  Rhona told me that I can have my checklists and she’ll continue to operate as she sees fit – fair enough!  Of course, I have lists at home too.  There’s the grocery list, the weekend “to-do” list, and the “I’m running out to Home Depot/Ace/Lowes and I pray I don’t forget anything” list. 

    Two issues I have routinely encountered with my lists though:  Where did I put it?  and  Why am I not more productive?

    Where did I put it?

    Our phones have turned into mini-computers, and there are a multitude of apps to help us be more productive.  Most phones contain, as on my iPhone, a basic “notes” app.  I personally like the feature of talking into my phone and having it turn my words into text for me.  In my house, we have gotten to the point of using a whiteboard on the fridge for the grocery list and snapping a picture of it before we head off to the store.  I cannot count the times one of us has sent a text “um, can you send me the grocery list?  I forgot to take a picture” – ah, well laid plans.  Then, of course, there are the old, tried and true piles of scratch pads lying around with various scribbles reminding us to do something or the other.   

    I recently purchased a special type of daily planner in a quest to help the entire family, though especially the 13-year-old, to stay focused and better organized.  These are Rocket Book planners (thank you to the person who introduced me to these).  These planners combine the features of a traditional notebook with the functionality of an erasable white board, while adding a technical aspect as well!  These planners/notebooks use a special pen that allows me to take notes similar to normal pen and paper.  However, with the use of a damp cloth, I can wipe my pages clean thus allowing the planner to be reusable (similar to a whiteboard).  To go one step further, these notebooks and planners come with an app.  With a couple of clicks I can have my notes uploaded and instantly sent in an email or into a folder I choose.  The Academic Planners I bought for the girls seem to be doing their job.  In the few weeks of use, my daughters – appear – to be on track with their assignments and activities.

    Why am I not more productive?

    On the front end, creating a list can sound like a great idea to get things accomplished.  However, a written list can often seem too large or overwhelming and become counter-productive.  How can we create lists that keep us motivated and productive?  There are various techniques we can employ to help.  Of the numerous websites I visited to answer this question, I found this site to sum things up best: https://www.openfit.com/effective-to-do-list

    Now that I can satisfactorily check off writing to you, let’s see what’s next… oh shoot, where did I put my weekend to-do list?

    Please remember that we are “here” and available for you as well.  If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email.  If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them. 

    As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!