“15. Make lists so you don’t forget
Part of chronic illness for so many is brain fog. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot to take my meds, eat lunch, do laundry… I make a list each day of what needs to be done and include things some might think to be ridiculous like taking my vitamins, eating lunch or taking a shower. “
However, getting organized can mean so much more than just making lists and I’ve talked about a few of these in my earlier steps as they related to them. Making lists and getting organized does several things:
- It takes the pressure off your brain fogged mind. When overwhelmed either with disease or the chaos of other trials, you need to keep yourself organized or you’ll be expending too much energy just trying to remember everything you need to do.
- It lowers anxiety. It can be stressful trying to remember all the things you need to do…in time to do them…ON TIME! It’s so much less stressful to have them all written down, reminders in place so you can deal with all the other stuff you need to deal with…and I know there is plenty left!
- It lowers the chances of increasing the chaos and trials. You and I both know that trials come in sizes. Super size trials are the ones that overwhelmed you so much that you couldn’t remember to handle the things you could handle while you could still do so. Keeping track of all you need to do helps you get them done on time to avoid penalties or making your trial worse.
With that in mind, here are other ways you can organize yourself:
- Lists can be on paper, on your calendar, on a phone calendar. Whatever works for you.
- I recently found an app that makes my list making even easier. It’s called Listaway. It allows me to make several lists and then stick the tasks to be done (with deadlines) so that all my lists are in one place. In fact, I have Listaway on my iPad too so it’s coordinated no matter what device I’m holding. Also it means I can be on a phone call and easily see my lists and calendar which is also sincd to my iPad.
- Speaking of calendars…I have my calendar on both my iPhone and iPad so I can easily see what appointments I have. I also have them color coded so I can see which appointments are things I need to get to (pink) and which ones I just have to do something by that date (blue).
- Alarms. I have a hard time remembering things even with all those tools so I have a reminder go off on my phone AND iPad so I can hear it from where ever I am and know when things are getting ready to need my full attention or physical presence.
- I have several apps that I use to keep notes of things like symptoms I need to tell my dr, forms I need to fill out for my kids, ideas I have for articles, books and webinars (you might have other lists for your ministry/business.
- Notebooks help me keep organized for various projects I have. You may want one notebook per project so you can keep notes as you think of them and have them all in one place.
- Ladies, you may want to keep track of your monthly female cycles. If peri menopause is one of your trials or not, you’ll probably be too brain fogged to remember when the dr asks or if you need to know. Mine were so chaotic in and of themselves that I couldn’t be expected to remember if I had a Sheldon Cooper memory!
- Keep records of the people you speak to about issues you have. I kept a Charter Communication Log that ended up being about 50 pages long because we had so many problems with the cable company. I’d write down the name of the person I spoke with, date and time, and issue as well as what the rep told me would be done. It made it easier for me to complain and be taken seriously the next time I had an issue which was all the time. Having specifics (names, dates, times, terms) makes your case more credible to the company. You may not be able to remember what you had for lunch, but you can read what Linda W. told you she’d do on 4 September 2017!
- Put all your important documents in one place you can easily find. I have all our birth certificates, bank info, etc in one file folder all in one place so I can easily find it no matter what head spinning chaos is going on around me that day.
Any way you can keep notes, records, ideas, and other things you may need later in any organized way that will allow you to find them when you need them will help you keep chaos at bay. And that’s another step in getting out of survival mode!