On occasion, we have been known to scribble out a rough menu for the week. It’s not carved in stone, but it does give us a guideline for what to buy and what we can use up in the freezer. For 10 minutes work it saves us several hours of trying to figure out what to have for dinner every night.
And yet, despite knowing the benefits, it’s very rare for us to actually get round to doing it.
As letters, statements and bills arrive in the post, once opened and glanced over, they get put in a pile on the kitchen table, where they remain, getting pushed aside at lunchtime and scooped up in a pile to be dealt with later when we all sit down to dinner. Sometimes these piles are put on top of previous piles, and sometimes they're put wherever there’s a gap on a chair, in the hall or on the stairs, where they might be joined by piles yet to come.
We know if we dealt with them as we got them, or at least the same day - organised, filed, put in an Urgent Tray – 5 minutes work would save countless hours of frustration later on looking for something we know was put in a pile, somewhere, or being unpleasantly threatened by some business or organisation we forgot to reply to.
We know all this, and yet we still never seem to get our act together and actually be more organised.
And, of course, if we spent 10 minutes each week looking after our accounts – entering the figures into a spreadsheet, putting receipts into a polypocket, and filing the bank and credit card statements rather than putting them in piles, somewhere – then our tax returns would probably only take half an hour, if that, once a year, to fill in and send off.
And yet, despite cursing and swearing next year will be different, every January is spent turning the house upside down looking for bank statements and receipts. And every January is spent wondering if it would just be simpler just to skip the country or form a suicide pact instead of completing the self-assessment tax forms.