Sunday, November 04, 2007

Making a List, Checking it Twice

Yesterday while I was in the midst of deep and profound blog ramblings, I spent a few moments gloating over the victory of my Saturday to-do list. And while it's true that I got a lot of things done, there is only one thing to say today: I'm tired.

I'm so tired, I nearly considered not changing out of full-on Sunday wear before my rehearsal tonight, and I'm talking panty-hose here, people. But I dragged my butt downstairs, got my newly washed one-size smaller jeans and managed to get them on and the hosiery off in the correct order. I'm tired, but I'm not that tired.

The rest of my to-do list isn't all that big. I still need to dust, but I'm too tired. I need to pluck the rabbit because he's looking like a Yeti, but I'm too tired (he'll be glad). I need to make some rehearsal CDs for various persons who need them. Not going to happen tonight. I'm supposed to help TeenTuna find a song for a January school event. Since that would require dragging about 8 heavy books out of my can do. The last thing I wrote on my list was "clean the basement" and well yeah...I might as well have listed establish world peace or eat an entire Mince Pie and Love it, because they all have an equal chance of being accomplished anytime soon.

Lots of people make to-do lists, and although I'm a recent convert to this task, I'm by no means a regular. I will admit though, that once the depression wears off, I find tackling a voluminous to-do list somewhat helpful and empowering.

The trick is to construct a successful to-do list. How? Well, I'm glad you asked:

  1. Include several items in your to-do list that are extremely easy and you know you're going to do anyway. This can include getting out of bed, taking a shower, breathing, making a to-do list, eating breakfast and having a debate on the relative worth of Hannah Montana, Kelly Clarkson and that Zach guy from High School Musical. Crossing them off your list will be a breeze and give you a great jump-start to your day.
  2. Speaking of crossing things off your list, make sure you have the proper writing implement. No pencils allowed here. The bigger and bolder, the better. Find something dark and POWERFUL, so nothing neon, no colored pencils and no highlighters. Sharpies are great because they are FOREVER.
  3. Put a few items on the list that are legitimate. After all, you need to get something done, otherwise it's going to make a repeat appearance on next week's list. Pacing is important. If you pick the most strenuous job first, chances are you (and your list) are done for the day.
  4. Feel free to add to the list. Things might occur to you later like eat lunch, breathe, take a nap, bribe your child to do your chores for you, or have a debate on whether your biggest problem as an adult is you just don't listen, you just don't understand, or you're just not fair. Be sure to cross it off the list when completed!
  5. Be sure to always include a few items that will be impossible to complete. A to-do list should NEVER be finished. Here is where tasks like the basement, world peace and mince pie come into play. The basement mess will always sit quietly for another day, world peace is doubtful, and as for mince pie, well, let's just say there ain't no Sharpie strong enough.
  6. At the end of the day save plenty of time for self-congratulations and back-patting. You worked hard and accomplished a great deal. If it wasn't for your list, you wouldn't have two clean matching socks to admire when you put your feet up and relax.
  7. Finally, be sure to have a forum where you can share your many and astounding accomplishments. Much like a vacation home guest book, nobody was there when it happened, so you can tell any sort of fish tale you want. And if your socks don't match? Nobody will ever know.


annie said...

You left out the part about the item that moves from list to list all week.It tends to be things like "clean hall closet" or "organize tax receipts." ( I usually mark it with a forward pointing arrow to remind myself that I have completely given up) until, in desperation, it is completed. Or until I decide that if it is that loathsome, it is perhaps not God's will that I should do whatever it is.

Antoinette said...

LOL - I'm with Annie. In my case the problem is, many things move from list to list. I think I might as well give up and admit that my list is never going to be finished. Hmm.. unless.. does a Christmas list count??? I can get done for sure!