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Getting It All Done

I had a huge to-do list at the start of the summer, itemizing a variety home improvement, yard improvement, and personal improvement projects that I wanted to accomplish during my break from working outside the home (I am a high school teacher). I like a challenge. My personal motto, besides "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn" (John Cotton Daana), is probably "Go big or go home" (attributed to Eliza Dushku on the Internet, but used by coaches everywhere). I tend to plan big, and believe I can do it. Sometimes I can, but not always. So far, I have gotten a slow start on my list, but I am gaining momentum. I have exactly three weeks left before work begins again, and I think I'm going to get the majority of my list done.

This last week has been a big one for accomplishments. So far, I (with Average) have:
weeded, pruned, and beautified the front yard
built a kind of retaining wall for the flower bed next to our patio
bought blueberry bushes and a hydrangea to put in the garden
finally filed all of the papers that have been in piles for 3 months +
moved the printer to the living room and reorganized the book shelf
boxed up my non-maternity clothes and put them in the attic

Things we/I got done earlier in the summer:
steam-cleaned all the carpets
touched up the paint along the ceiling edge in our bedroom
planted our garden

Tomorrow night is my first night of prenatal yoga, which is also on my to-do list, and I have high hopes that we can at least accomplish re-surfacing and painting the hallway sometime in the next three weeks. Is that aiming too high? Go big or go home! Yes, I am already at home but you get the idea.

I feel like I am finally in the swing of staying home, and now I have at least two chunks of time per day that I can get stuff done: in the morning after breakfast when Sweet Pea is usually happy to play on her own, and in the afternoon when she is napping. If I can stay motivated and actually utilize that time well (no browsing other peoples' blogs or reading magazines!) I can get a lot done in those couple of hours. But see, here I am writing a blog post when I should be shoveling compost to put into my new garden bed, which currently has rock-hard dead soil and some dried leaves from last year, and some sand. I will try to take pictures of this project as I go, but can't find the camera charger right now (booooo :( ).

I guess the whole point of this post is that I always make these HUGE to-do lists (even daily, not just for the whole summer) and then NEVER get everything on them done. I aim high, and achieve somewhere in the middle. Do you use lists? Do you cross everything off of them? What are your tricks for "getting it all done"? - please share!

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