Just before Christmas, I gazed upon the unholy mess that is my ivory tower, and realised there was rather a lot of tidying up to do.

So I made a to-do list, covering the period from Boxing Day to the end of January. I put in a break around the end of the first week in January so that it was two small lists, and cracked on.

Now: I’ve made lists before. We all have.

But there’s nothing like the dopamine hit of ticking something off the list.

Moving furniture around. Shredding old paperwork. Rehanging the lights in the window. Writing that post on why I deleted Threads. Specific, measurable targets, not some wishy-washy aspirational stuff.

Tick! Tick! Tick!

Of course, I had to bump the things where I was spending money into the second list. Then into the February list. One or two in the March list…

But the list is in Notes, so it’s always open on my iPad and iPhone. I can’t miss them. And some of the items are things I should have sorted out years ago, such as bringing my sister’s cake-baking website more up-to-date, even if by one year (one year ever two months, it’s a start).

Of course, being back at work the list of items drops off each time. There were 14 items in that initial two-week period. Nine to the end of January. Six for February (halfway there, as I write). Eight lined up for Easter, three of which require a bit of focus (and will end up happening in Easter week).

And so far, I haven’t cheated (much, if you don’t count a slight reordering of things to buy because of cashflow – I don’t).

Whereas my work lists… I think of something, add it to the list, do it and scrub it out.

Well, we all need that dopamine hit, however we get it, right?