There is no shortage of articles circulating the internet at the moment about what to do with all your new-found time as you self-isolate. A lot of the suggestions are pretty lofty. Like becoming your fittest self ever. Or becoming a minimalist. Or becoming a vegan. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to do all of these things. But I am self-isolating with a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. Enough said.
I do believe, however, that we should put this time to good use. In a week or a month or 6 months, whenever ‘normal life’ resumes, I don’t want to look back and feel as though I just spent the time waiting for it to pass.
With that said, I would like to introduce you to your Niggle List.
We all have one.
Every thought we hold on to, every mental note, requires some of our precious, limited energy. I liken it to how electrical devices and appliances draw a small amount of energy simply by being plugged in, even if they aren’t turned on. It’s called phantom power.
Just by existing, your Niggle List uses phantom power, drawing on your limited energy reserves all day, every day.
Your Niggle List is made up of alllll the little thoughts, tasks, and distractions – entirely unimportant and non-urgent – that flit around in your mind, niggling you – until the day you address them.
Most of us are fine to leave everything on our Niggle List until we have the right combination of time and boredom to bother with them.
Dare I suggest current conditions might make this a good time – nay, the perfect time – to turn your focus to your Niggle List and annihilate that (low grade) energy-sucking
Currently, my Niggle List includes:
- Delete all the apps on my phone/iPad that I never use. There are a lot.
- Wipe off the smudge marks around the powder room light switch. Don’t judge me.
- Toss the threadbare socks that I always intend to throw away after use but I forget and they end up back in the laundry, and therefore, back in my sock drawer.
- Take the bag of unwanted clothes and toys that has been like an extra passenger in the car for the last two months to the donations bin already.
- All those addresses that I ripped off of Christmas card envelopes, intending to copy them into my address book? Copy them into my address book.
- Throw out the hard, crusty play-doh.
- [Covertly] block that super annoying channel on YouTube so my son forgets it exists.
- Give away the plants I always forget to water.
- Unsubscribe to Old Navy marketing emails. Good grief. They come, like, hourly.
- Designate a spot in my house for dead batteries, so they stop getting mixed in with the
livenot-dead ones and I know where to find them on that one day of the year when they are collected by the city.
- Clean out the crumbs that have strangely gathered in my cutlery drawer.
- Throw away all the expired coupons and takeout menus currently pinned to the er, pinboard, in the kitchen.
- Write my daughter’s birthday card (her birthday was last month).
- Conquer my inbox.
- Chisel away that piece of food on the kitchen floor that has become one with the tile.
I realize ‘become my fittest self ever’ is a way sexier and more admirable goal than ‘toss socks’ and ‘wipe away light switch smudges’ (I said don’t judge). Who knows what goal I might have the energy to take on once I’ve freed up all the phantom power that my Niggle List is currently using.
Stay tuned, Dear Reader, stay tuned.
And tell me, what’s on your Niggle List?