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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Making Lists

If I let myself, I could be quite a lazy person, allowing swathes of time to disappear without achieving much. So I set try to set myself targets and I write lists. One of my recent targets has been to finish my romantic novel by the end of August. I don't yet have a publisher for this book, so there is no pressure there, but I just find it useful to give myself deadlines.Tomorrow is 1st September and I have failed in this particular quest. Considering there is not much more to do, two chapters probably, and a bit of infilling, this is quite frustrating. I haven't been lazy but life recently has been pretty hectic and although I'm fairly good at prioritising writing time, sometimes other things have to come first.

Over the last few weeks my 'to do' lists have got longer and longer which is not a good thing. A list should serve to soothe. The mere act of writing them can give me a sense of impending order -unless the list gets too long, which has happened lately. So how many items should you put on your 'to do' list?

My daughter is a list-maker too and, since returning from university she has been writing a daily list. Unlike mine, hers are consistent and manageable. Each day she writes down four things she wants to achieve. Through trial and error she has discovered that, for her, four is the magic number. Any more can add too much pressure. Any less and there is the feeling that you could have made more progress.

Interestingly, four is the only number which has the same amount of letters as its value in the English language. In Numerology, the number four resonates with the vibrations and energies of organisation, application, patience, determination and progress too.  It is a grounding number and symbolises the principle of putting ideas into form. Four is also the number of Fate which reminds us that many things happen which are beyond our control. So, although my daughter didn't know any of this beforehand, she may be on to something.

By writing things down we also create space in our brains. If it's on a piece of paper there's not so much danger it will be forgotten (unless you have a husband like mine who swoops on random pieces of paper and discards them - I am still trying to train him in this regard!).When I've done something on my list, I tick it off and this gives me a feeling of satisfaction. We all need to give ourselves a pat on the back from time to time. Most of us don't do it often enough.

So this week, with the sense of optimism which September usually brings, I shall be adopting the rule of four. In four weeks I really do aim to have finished that novel!

Thank-you for reading. Have a happy week.

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