Note: This won’t be a list of stuff on the list. I haven’t yet worked back up to that one yet, but this is a discussion of to-do lists, how my first week used this format went and all such things. I’m not a stranger to to-do lists, though the past few times I’ve written them I’ve kept falling off keeping up with making them. It’s a shame because they’re actually incredibly helpful to me.
So, before I move on, I’d like to explain my history with to-do lists. I’ve always made them by the week. I used to assign items to various days, so, for example, I would spread out reading a book over three days. Then, if I decided that I wanted to read the whole book all at once, I’d shift those items to the day I read the book on and marked that they were originally from a different day. Sound complicated? It’s just the garbled explanation. Basically: I’d assign items to specific days and was flexible about when I actually did them as long as I got as many things crossed off as I could. I hope that’s better.
Eventually, I got the hang of what I could do in a day, but it all fell to the wayside gradually, certainly after I finished university. When I picked up making to-do lists again, I decided to adopt a slightly different approach from the “Do this on that day” approach I’ve never really stuck to. I take my week and go “Do this at some point during the week”. There may be fixed points, but by and large I’ve given up the pretence at decided I’ll do this item then and that item at a different time. I just lump it all into a big list of stuff to do and then shift it down to a record of the day I did it on.
Pretty simple, right? At the moment, I’m still learning quite how long I can make that weekly list. The first week’s list was a pretty good success. I finished all but two of the items on the list. I would have finished those if my Sunday hadn’t decided to go too far south. And, today, I finished up one of the two items that I had remaining. It was easily the largest item on the list, so I’m doubly happy about getting it polished off. I hope to get the last remaining item tackled tomorrow.
I’ll run out of things to do, most likely, because a lot of the items on the list are smaller and shorter items. That’s okay. I’m okay with that. A lot of the items consist of stories for me to read. I’d fallen horribly behind on them. They’re the reason I started a to-do list again. The structure helps me find cope for reading online pieces. Hopefully, once I get back into the swing of things, I’ll stay with it. The more things I try to do, the more I realise that what works best for me is a rough framework that I get to fill in for myself, with no punishments if I don’t make it and maybe, very maybe, a reward if I do just to serve as an incentive, but that one’s rare. The reward/punishment model only survives in the buying of books. (And even then I struggle to adhere strictly to the framework I’ve set out.)
That’s probably a subject for another post, though. But, yes, the first week of renewing my writing of to-do lists went well. The second week is off to a good start too and hopefully that streak will continue.