Letting Go To Become More Organised

Letting Go To Become More Organised: Adventures of a Subversive Reader

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might have seen a few posts about my struggles to ‘get organised’. I’ve tried apps, I’ve tried routines, I’ve tried internet challenges. But I miss a day, and I get cranky at myself and feel guilty that I can’t keep at it. And then I give up. And things seem to just fall over again until the next time I’m feeling so frazzled that I’ll do anything to get organised again.

And then I discovered two things which seem to be working for me

  1. A pen and notepad
  2. The understanding that some days things don’t work

The first one was pretty simple. Each day has a page in the notebook. I write down things I want to get done that day and cross them off when they’re done. If they’re not done, they either get transferred to the next day or they are put aside for now. It helps me remember little things like brushing Squirm’s teeth in the morning (we remember nights because we have a firm routine, but mornings are more flexible because our commitments change day to day) or bigger things (buying presents for birthdays, cleaning out the fridge). I have all sorts of strange things on it, and that act of writing it down and then doing it, really seems to keep me motivated.

But it doesn’t work everyday.

It doesn’t work on the days where we’ve had no sleep and I’m a teary mess who should just drink tea in the backyard while Squirm plays. It doesn’t work on the days when Squirm in feeling ‘off’ and is best outside (it’s harder to do the housework out there). It doesn’t work when we’re moving from one event to another with no time to stop and think about what we’re doing next.

And that’s ok.

That’s been the hardest thing for the perfectionist in me to come to terms with. If I miss writing anything down for a day, that’s ok. It’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t mean that writing it down isn’t a good idea. It doesn’t mean I’ll never be organised and I might as well give up now. It doesn’t even mean that the notebook is ruined and can never be used again! It means I missed a day and can start again on any day I chose.

Overcoming my perfectionism to come to terms with that has been such a big thing for me. It lets me know that I have actually found something that works for me, that it’s ok to miss a day or two and it’s ok to go back to it whenever I want to. I can be more organised and I can feel better about it.

And that’s a really wonderful thing to know.



  1. Tangentially related to the keeping of lists – http://bulletjournal.com/. I love the look of this method – am planning on getting a new notebook (because that’s a necessary step and no, it’s not just an excuse to buy a new notebook, I have no idea what you’re talking about) to try it out. I have any number of organisational apps as well, but always come back to a list with things I can cross off.

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