If you give a mouse a cookie ...

… he will probably want a glass of milk. 

Most of you may recognize this as the beginning of one of the best children’s books of all time, written by Laura Numeroff. For those who need a quick summation: as the book progresses this mouse gets totally sidetracked with all the events that occur once he is given a cookie! It’s an adorable book to read to a little one, but not so adorable when you are a full-fledged adult and getting sidetracked is a daily occurrence.

My days always start out with a plan and a list. The list is not very exciting most days, just a very helpful and necessary part of my life. I write my list on a ceramic tile with an EXPO Dry Erase marker. It sits nestled between my coffee pot and kitchen sink since I spend quite a bit of my day there, so there’s no missing it!  

As I said, this list is not fancy at all!

As I said, this list is not fancy at all!

Like many people, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I cross things off my list. That’s easy enough to do, until “mousing” creeps in. Mousing is the term my friend and I jokingly refer to as our inability to stay focused while accomplishing a single task. Still a bit confused? The following narrative of my day should help clarify things.

Just got back from the gym so I cross that off the list! Next, I choose to tackle laundry. I go into the closet to get the dirty clothes and notice that my shoes are in my laundry basket; so I take a moment to place them back into their designated cubby. I realize I no longer have enough cubbies for my shoes; so I decide to donate the shoes that no longer “fit” in my life. I take them all out of my closet and run downstairs for a bag. I cannot locate the bags because “someone” just threw our beach towels in there. So, I reroll the beach towels and place them in the beach bag only to find about seven bottles of sunscreen, some of which are clearly empty. I check each one, while I’m at it I check expiration dates and try to place the bag back into closet. Except it doesn’t fit, so I pull everything out since summertime is almost here and I don’t really want to be doing this task again! While organizing the closet I see that there are about 30 coats, from every school we have ever coached at, that we NEVER WEAR! Really, since I am already going to the Donation Center, I should go through the coats too! So I pull them all out and sort them in the living room so each family member can go through their piles when they get home. Ahh, now the beach bag fits in the hall closet, so I go for a cup of rewarding coffee. While sipping I reach for my EXPO marker to cross something off on my list since it’s been about 2 hours and realize NOT ONE THING has been completed!

Things such as this happen every single day. I’m busy all day long getting things done, just NOT what's on my list! I crawl into bed tired and deflated already knowing what will be on my tomorrow list!

Moral: Try using your list as a guideline instead of a timeline. You’ll feel better about yourself and might even sleep better too.

your list loving friend,

A little thing I do: If by the end of the day I have not crossed off a single item from my list, I have been known to add what I did do and then cross them off- one at a time!