Granny has never been large in stature – I’m not even sure she ever made 5′, but she has always been one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known – away from home as well as at home. It always made her furious if she didn’t get everything done that she wanted to. I can remember even when I was very, very young thinking that she was quite possibly the busiest person in the world. She worked full time at a job she absolutely loved, kept a spotless home, was active in church and was very involved in a homemaker’s club as well as a bridge club (those ladies took their card games very seriously, let me tell you). In the summer, she could always be found working in one of her three rose beds, her garden or another part of her amazingly beautiful yard.
Even after she retired, she continued to wake up around 6:00 am, make breakfast, clean house, work in the yard, run errands, grab lunch, do more yard work, clean up, make supper, take a hot bath, and settle in for a little reading and/or watching baseball with her husband.
If, during the course of one of her packed days, she missed something along the way, she’d say she didn’t get “diddly squat” done. This meant that she probably only worked in two of the three rose beds or that she hadn’t vacuumed her basement that day.
Diddly squat to her was different from the rest of us.
I’ve grown into her genes in a few areas – I have a passion for cooking, flowers, and birds, an obsession with magazines and baseball (except I bleed Cardinal’s red whereas she’s always been a Braves girl) and I love getting up early. I’ve also become the owner of a few of her phrases. Diddly squat would be one of them. It’s a pretty good one – I highly recommend it.
I also have a distaste for diddly squat days. Sure, a nice relaxing day is a dream come true every now and again (Sundays, I’m looking at you), but even then I want to look back at the end of the day and see that something was accomplished.
Even if it’s just making the bed!
My biggest problem is that I’m easily distracted. Make that VERY easily distracted. I can be working along just fine on, say, an article for a website, then glance out the window and see that one of our bird-feeders is running low. Naturally I just HAVE to go outside and refill it right then and there.
Then, while outside, I may see plants that need watering and a cat or two in need of a little attention…
By then I have to wash my hands before getting back to…. okay, what was it I was doing??
Story of my life.
Something that has helped me is actually painfully simple. I’m a list making fool. To get anything accomplished, I have to make lists and, with all due respect to St. Nick, I check them a heck of a lot more than twice.
I’ve noticed that on days when I write down my goals and check them off as I go along, I get everything done. On days when I think I can fly solo – without the list – inevitably, something’s left undone, unfinished, or forgotten about. I made that mistake yesterday, for the first time in weeks. I was scrambling at 11:00 last night trying to catch up to everything that had eluded me during the day. Not a heckuva lot of fun.
Needless to say, I have my beloved, much ballyhooed list today. Right in front of me with my purple pen ready to put a gratifying check mark before each goal as they’re met. Each swoosh feels like a pat on my psyche’s back.
An organized mind is much more productive than an unorganized mind.
If you feel like your day just isn’t big enough for you to fit your life into, you might want to give list-making a shot. It’s a goal’s best friend and a distraction’s mortal enemy.