Tuesday, May 25, 2010

to-do list tuesday

this to do-list hails from one of my favorite bloggers, miss grace hsui--a previous editor for apartment therapy; los angeles (where we met). she recently left AT but lucky for us, didn't leave without penning a farewell message. currently, you can find her on the popular and witty blog, of course, of course. so you can imagine my delight when she offered up her to-do list and explanation(s).

My to-do lists had humble beginnings--usually scrawled on the back of envelopes or written on my right hand--but since then, I've graduated to not only putting my to-do list on proper note paper, but they even have a spot! On my fridge! Well, the side of it, since that's the only part that's magnetic. Anyway, I update my to-do lists about once a week, give or take, depending on how very productive I'm feeling. This week, I've nailed about 5 out of 9, which (for me) is not too shabby.

1.  Challenge:  You mean, besides actually doing all of these tasks within a reasonable time frame?  I'd say my biggest challenge is getting motivated to do certain tasks that I dread or don't think I have the time for.  I try to order my list so there's some connectivity; i.e., if I have to mop the kitchen floor, I'll put that after "Sanding down wood cutting board" That way, since I'm already in the kitchen, there's a better chance of both tasks being completed. The other big challenge is meeting Ryan Gosling or LL Cool J, although I came really, really close a few weekends ago--LL Cool J was signing autographs at Vroman's for his new book, but the line was too insane to rationalize marking that off my to-do list.

2.  Sure Thing: If I know I'm going to have a big task I'm dreading, I'll pad my to-do list with smaller, easier tasks. That way, when I get into the groove of crossing things off my list, I'm much less likely to hem and haw and put it off. It's sort of how I feel like when I'm exercising: If I'm really dragging my feet, I'll tell myself, "OK, just ten minutes, and then if I still don't feel like, at least I gave it a shot." Nine time out of ten, after the ten minute mark, I'm thinking, "Eh. Already started. Might as well finish a full workout and then I can eat some pie!"

3.  Make An Appointment: A tried-and-true trick for me to getting stuff done is to turn it into an appointment. It's really easy for me to get caught up in work and push things off (sometimes for days...or weeks). Like the time when I kept pushing off sending out my car registration to the DMV, and then my tags expired; which then landed me in line at the DMV on a Friday afternoon, cursing myself for not taking the 5 minutes it would have been to just send out my damn registration in the mail.  Since then, I have learned my lesson: When I'm really busy but know I have certain things that need attention, I'll set aside an hour during my day to, as my dad would say, "button shit up."  This includes anything from hitting up Target (it goes without saying how easy it is to shop at Target on a Tuesday afternoon, then say, Saturday morning) to sorting and shredding a pile of junk mail that has been sitting in a box by the trash can for a few weeks.

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