Allotment gardening and the power of to-do lists

I have a terrible memory.

One of the frustratingly common examples of this happens when I walk into the supermarket and forget the reasons for being there.

Psychologists have an explanation for this. Event Boundary.

Our brains catalogue events and link them to the environment, or room, in which they occurred. Through the physical act of entering or exiting a room or place in which the event was created, our minds effectively separate these episodes of activity and file them away. All those important tasks you thought about doing on the allotment while you drank your tea in the kitchen, are hard to remember when you walk through the gates on the allotment.

There’s an obvious solution to this problem. Write the dam stuff down of course!

Some people resist the structure of to-do list. The view is they shackle them to a process and thwart their creativity and flexibility. I can relate to this in perhaps the practice or writing or painting, but for me, when it comes to the multitude of tasks required to enjoy a productive and efficient allotment or kitchen garden, to-do lists are essential.

Allotment plan and seeds
Planning the allotment beds

What we also know is the simple act of making a plan – a to-do list – can free our minds from anxiety caused by having a number of tasks to undertake. When we remove this anxiety through planning and the use of to-do lists, we perform better on the present tasks too.

As well as jobs I need to do such as, weeding the onions, turning the compost bin or building that new raised bed, there are also the lists of seeds I need to sow if I want to produce the crops I’m excited to eat from the allotment this year.

If you are like me and find the decision of when to sow particular crops a tricky one to make, then I enthusiastically recommend you head over to Charles Dowding’s website and take a look at his very handy month by month sowing guide. It’s the one I try to follow along with and it helps take the confusion out of sowing and it clearly works for Charles.

What about you? Do you use to-do lists to help you keep on top of the gardening tasks? Do you have a better way to manage your time and keep things running efficiently on the plot? Let me know in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Allotment gardening and the power of to-do lists

  1. I don’t tend to use a to do list, just in my head. Probably a bit different for me as I just have to step out the door rather than travel to an allotment maybe?
    Only thing seed wise I tend to do is organise them roughly into ‘month to be sown’ order.

    Liked by 1 person

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