Wednesday, October 5, 2011

to-do lists: a new approach

all my life i've been making to-do lists.  currently they are stressing me out.  i think of one thing i need to do, and then another more important thing, and then another and before you know it, i'm buried in things that are all important, but important in different ways, and i can't figure out how to start undigging myself. a) because the sheer amount makes me dread even starting.  b) because i can't decide where to begin.  so i'm stuck in perpetual list-making.

so instead of a to-do list, on this rainy-outside cozy-inside night in which i am letting myself do whatever i would like, i am creating a new kind of list.  i shall call it:

All the Fun Things I Could Do Right Now:

  • polish rulon myres' interview
  • edit wedding pictures
  • add that cool little "books i've read" section onto my blog
  • write my thesis
  • read essays for my creative nonfiction class
  • comments on friends' essays
  • try to find a female translator of ovid in the renaissance
  • write about europe
  • paint my toenails
  • close down all the tabs open in my browser (38 tabs currently)
  • call my friend to come play speed scrabble with me
  • read from cabin fever, the book i chose to review for class that just so happens to be a perfect fit for me
  • drive up the canyon and see the leaves

and best yet, what if instead of prioritizing them by due dates or by importance in terms of my degree, what if i prioritized them by which ones i want to do the most, at the very moment that i am trying to decide the next way to spend my time?  how would that work as a life paradigm?  would i get more done, or less?  i suppose that maybe the things i really don't want to do, despite my attempts to rosey them up with titles like "Fun Things I Could Do", would still be left undone.  so maybe for the majority of my how-to-spend-my-time decisions, i should do the things that are essential first.  but for tonight, just for tonight, i'm going to be productive but let my heart choose in which directions.

and direction number one just might include a mug of hot cocoa and pajahmas.


  1. I have this same thing. If I don't put it on a list, I forget. If I do, I have no desire to start. I think this fear of starting a task on a list should have a name: nonscririnciperaphobia. [nanskririnsiperafobia] Naming the disease is the first step to curing it. Now I need to get back to my list.

  2. I live my life through lists on post-it notes. My students laugh at the overabundance of post-its on my desk. I seriously don't know how people exist without them. On a side note... do you know when I get the most done? When i have something horrible I have to do, like grade essays. It seems when I have 90 personal essays to grade I am able to find millions of other "important" things to do!