You know what I mean. I bet you’ve got loads of things on your to-do list that you want to do, but don’t need to do, so they never get done. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A third of people say that completing a to-do list is one of their top ‘little wins’ (according to a survey by Barefoot Wines) and gives them a happy glow. So, if you never get to the end of the list, do you ever really get at feeling?
Seeing as it’s the last few weeks of lockdown before everyone heads back to work and school, now is the perfect time to get round to doing the things you want to do but don’t often have enough time to tackle. Here’s how to do the things that slip down the to-do list time and again…
- Reconnecting with old friends
- Finding long-lost family
- Sending ‘thinking of you’ messages in the post
- Improving your posture
- Setting up an ergonomic home office
- Digitizing your media
- Deep cleaning appliances
- Servicing filters
- Nurturing a new skill
- Start a creative project you’ve always wanted to make
- Learning a language
RECONNECT WITH OLD FRIENDS AND LONG-LOST FAMILY
We’d all like to make time to look up old friends, have a catch up or find out how our extended family are doing. But, other than a quick glace at their Facebook profile, we never quite get round to doing it. In fact, it can be easy to lose touch completely if they change a phone number or move house. Seeing as receiving a call or unexpected post from a long distant friend or family member made the list of ‘little wins’ that make us happy, why not get round to doing this today?
I recently switched over to a different mobile phone and for some reason I lost all my contacts. So I’ve kind of been starting over with trying to find numbers, addresses and emails of all my friends – and that’s without delving deeper to find other folk who are no longer on my list but that I’d like to reconnect with. I’ve been a detective – adding numbers from old WhatsApp messages and emails, but there are still people I need to find.
Now’s definitely the time to reconnect with old friends or get in touch with your extended family. I bet they’ll be delighted to hear that you’ve been thinking of them and that you want to keep in touch. If you have an incomplete address you can always look up the rest on using the Royal Mail address and postcode finder. If you’re in the US it’s even possible to search a database with the person’s name or number or state. Here in the UK, try looking on LinkedIn or Facebook to find an old friend and send them a message…
IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE & SET UP A HOME OFFICE
This is something that I personally always intend to do but don’t tackle on a regular basis. Data from a Puressentiel survey shows that a third of adults wake up to aches and stiffness most days, so I’m not the only one who needs to improve their posture! I have an old whiplash injury so it’s easy for my neck to become weak and lead to headaches so it’s vitally important for me – but even so I still haven’t got round to it. Until now, that is.
Last week I set up my desk in a more ergonomic way. We all know that you’re ‘supposed to’ have your monitor at eye-level and your feel flat on the ground, but I’m sure most of us (myself included) have just been using a laptop on the kitchen table while working from home. So maybe now’s the time to go back to a desktop computer (I’ve spotted that reconditioned stand-alone computers are super-affordable on Ebay) and set up an ergonomic workspace.
After a suffering for a few days with a sore neck I remembered that my laptop can be used as a computer monitor with the addition of a keyboard and mouse (which I already had stowed away in a drawer). So the desk is now correctly set up and – you won’t believe this – I actually had back ache for the first time in ages when I started using it in this way! But after a couple of days of discomfort while my back adapted to the new way of working, I’ve had no further problems.
You can also go one step further and order a low-cost posture corrector from Amazon or, if you’ve already seen a professional, you could start doing your physio-recommended exercises every day. I’m determined to improve my posture and strengthen my neck before it becomes a chronic situation so I just need to commit to it.
DIGITIZING YOUR MEDIA
Something that’s been on my to-do list forever is putting all my old printed photos and CD collection onto my computer. Yes, I’m one of those people who doesn’t know how to download mp3s or play music on my phone or anything like that. What I DO know however, is that I have a LOT of CDs that I would like to be able to access on my devices and put into playlists.
This is something that would take me ages to do and I know that. That’s exactly why I’ve been putting it off for so long. Thankfully there are companies who can digitize your media for you – even older things like cassettes, vinyl and reel-to-reel. At least if you get this to-do item sorted, you’ll never have to worry about losing important family videos or prized photos – you’ll always have a digital copy to hand if needed – the ultimate backup.
DEEP CLEANING APPLIANCES
I’m sure you’re as aware as I am that keeping appliances clean helps to keep them running smoothly and working well for longer. Even so, when was the last time you deep cleaned the washing machine, dishwasher, fridge, cooker or even the vacuum? It was while defrosting the freezer (to fit in more ice-pops to enjoy during this hot summer weather!) that I realised I have been living in my home for more than three years and probably haven’t done that task at all since we moved in.
Even a quick clean is better than nothing for many appliances. It’s amazing how grubby the inside of the fridge gets isn’t it? You don’t really notice it until it’s so mucky that all the shelves and drawers need to be taken out and washed. Choose a natural, organic, eco-friendly cleaning such as the refillable Squeeky Clean bottle. This what I’ve been using to kill bacteria and germs without leaving odours or chemicals inside the fridge where the food will be.
Most appliance manuals will tell you exactly how to take care of the product, clean and maintain it. Plus, there are so many tutorials online that can show you how to deep clean appliances to keep them in great condition. It’s a good idea to run a washing machine on an empty cycle at a high temperate to clean it and allow air to circulate by leaving the door open after a wash. Its the filters in vacuums, kettles, washing machines and tumble driers that are the most important to keep the appliance running well so check the manual. It’s a safety issue – especially in washers and driers – so get it done now!
LEARNING SOMETHING NEW
See, it’s not all chores! I’m sure there’s something you want to learn but you never get round to doing it. The thing that you put on your new year’s resolutions list ever year – learning a language, playing the guitar, writing a blog, learning to juggle and so on. But these things take time (and sometimes money) so that’s probably why they never get ticked off and are written straight back on the list next new year’s eve.
I’ve gone for it this year and last month I shared my experiences of 5 personal development courses you can study online. I’ve always wanted to learn sign language ever since it was an optional language module at uni but it sadly clashed with my timetable so I couldn’t study it. Instead, I’ve learnt Makaton, which has given me a great start – but now I want to learn official BSL. So during lockdown I enrolled on an online course with British-Sign.co.uk who were offering a pay-what-you-can enrollment during the pandemic. I’ve have been completing the modules and I’m loving every minute!
The thing with achieving an ambition to learn something new is that there’s no shortcut, you just have to make the time to do it. So maybe now’s the time to start a new routine where you dedicate some of your time in the future to doing something that makes you happy. You could make something you’ve always want to do such as crochet a blanket, start lino printing, sew your own clothing or study website coding. Whatever skill you want to work on, write it into your timetable and do it! Just an hour a week can make a big difference – or ten minutes a day, for that matter.
I hope these suggestions will help you to tick off some of those ‘never get round to’ items on your to-do list. Let me know what else has been on your list forever and what you’ll be tackling next in the comments below 🙂
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