Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My 'To-Do List' Lament

I used to have this way of getting things done-write up a "To-Do" list.
Whenever my head started sendin signals that it was almost full (some examples include tantrums, oversleeping, nonsensical rambling), I would let it all out by writing up everything that I had to remember to do-calls to be made, bills to be paid, offices to visit, reports to write up, parties to attend, noses to be picked-they all went in there.
Then, the next day, I would periodically glance at my list, see what has to be done and slowly and methodically (well not always so methodically) would I check off one 'thing' after another.
Comes the end of day, I turn to my list and with a tired yet utterly satisfied sigh, I chuck it in the bin.
Next day, same thing happens.

And thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan things changed.

Oh I still would get the brain overload and still write up the lists but the difference lay in what I did with those lists.
I stopped referrin to them.
I would go along with my day-do whatever seemed pleasin to my mind and heart-and then, when gettin ready for bed, my gaze would inevitably fall upon the paper and gasp! only ONE thing was able to be crossed off!
utter shock
total disbelief
but wait, i was so busy! i was i was!
how'd that happen that not more than one thing was done by me today?
hmmm that is just so crazy
And with a tired and uncomfortable sigh, I chuck it in the bin.
Next day, same thing happens.

And you?
You chuckle. A smug satisfied grin on your face.
Dear, you're supposed to use your "to-do" list as a REFERENCE and GUIDE during the day-to know what to do, not as a MULTIPLE CHOICE CHECKLIST or an OPTIONAL SUMMARY to be read at the end of your workday!
Everyone knows that.

And you, my dear nation, how do you use your "To-Do" lists?
Do you constantly refer back to them, searching for your mission, striving to attain and even surpass your goals?
Or do you lean back at the end of your years and glance with surprise at your list? What is the meaning of this, you wonder uncomfortably. How can it be that I can only cross off one or two items? Was I not a hard worker? Did I not toil all the days of my life?

And perhaps you fall into yet a third category.

Perhaps you too did not refer to your list. But every so often you have wandered over and without too much thought or attention, drew a line over any one of your reminders. And at the end of the day, you knowingly and noddingly skim your list, satisfied with your 'accomplishments'.

Oh, but you can't expect to get things done without constantly referring to your list and only crossing them off when they have truly been completed.
Everyone knows that.


chanie said...

I used to refer to my lists, but now I just write them and forget about them- not motivated enough to do anything. Yuppers, I'm one of those people.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I am a memory person and it gets me into trouble. I don't write things down much. If I do I forget about it. I wonder how ppl remember to look at their lists.

pint-sized said...

I used to write things down because I have a memory like a sieve, but that just seemed to allow me to forget things quicker. So now i just allow my mind to remind me to do things, only to forget the things I don't want to do.
And life goes on.

s.J. said...

whoa. my eyes hurt. in general.
(i've got nothing important to say, but still wanted to show face. as a sort of sign of allegiance.)

Bonnie B said...

I am a crazy list writer. I'll write the same list 15 times until I get everything finished. I can't help it even though it makes my family nuts. It is the only way I will every remember what needs to be done and what I have done already. I just wish I had a list so I could remember who I've told what story to already-- life gets so repetitive.

But governments are the biggest list makers who rarely acheive anything-- because it is on the list it counts as an intention, but to me intentions are empty words until they are transformed into action.

You post was actually very deep. I liked it. You've got me thinking about lists-- now I think I'll make a list of all the things you've made me think of about the philosophy of lists-- so I don't forget.

Nemo said...

Lists are for the feeble minded...

the sabra said...

chanie, socialworker, pintsized:
and i repeat,
"I am speaking to you about poetry
And you say
When do we eat?
The worst of it is
I'm hungry too."

i accept ur pledge with honor and grace, even though i dont really see your face

bonnie b:
hehe you do that
and ya, the gov (all of em prob) is a great example of what i wrote about.
i personally had in mind more of an 'individual' response.
but i love how e/o gets what they get.

I list, therefore I am {feebleminded}

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Huh I don't get your response.

kasamba said...

Oh, dear Sabra, my lists have lists!
I dream in lists!
The worst is when I work out a great shopping list, find the perfect parking spot and realise that I left the list at home...


check it out !


s.J. said...

well if you'd allow avatars....

Genendy said...

*shrug* I write my to-do lists, and then I lose them. What category does that put me into?

the sabra said...

read and read again

my heart goes out

noone tells me what to do
(gosh cant believe i just responded to a spammer)

..then i'd be havin nightmares from yall

um a loser?
stam stam.
well depends if you lose em and then go on in life, never lookin back. or if you REALIZE that they are lost and realize that you are stuck..