Tuesday, January 26, 2010

tackle-it tuesday.

I think today would have been more appropriately titled "Taxi Tuesday." I drove almost all day! While I was dropping Jolie off at the dance studio this morning for the class the assists in, I took a picture of my to-do list with my phone, and here it is.

I usually make the list on Monday night because Mondays are so busy with homeschool co-op, piano lessons, and dance that I don't get much accomplished besides feeding everyone, playing scrabble on my phone, and maybe some little errands between drop-offs and pick-ups. If I would make my list on Sunday night, I might be able to tackle some of the errands on Monday...hmmm, I'll work on that. Tuesday is still the day that I really feel like I can tackle all those to-do items.

The idea behind my to-do list is to write down pretty much everything I need or want to get accomplished this week in sort of a brainstorming fashion. I leave plenty of space to add to my list and I don't worry about making it pretty or neat. Sometimes if my life is really overwhelming me with activities and deadlines, I will make four sub-lists: House, School, Work (usually just creative stuff), and Project. The project category will have all the things I need to do for whatever I have overcommitted to at the moment like a working a fundraiser, teaching a class, or hosting an event at home. I'll also use that section if there's a holiday coming up and I have several things to get accomplished.

As I brainstorm, I think of things I want to do but know I won't get to this week. Those things go in a little section I call "planning mode." It's funny, but if I actually write those down somewhere, knowing full well that I will not get around to them for days or weeks, it still puts them on my "radar," and I start thinking about them and jotting down ideas as they come to me. If I don't write down the "planning mode" projects, they stay jumbled up in my head and make my thoughts more cluttered, which makes me feel less on top of things.

I will often write an estimated time next to a task because it helps me to know what I can cram in when I only have 5 or 10 minutes to get something done (this is usually the "low-hanging fruit" - tasks that are easyeasyeasy to get done and crossed off - and I wonder, "Why in the world do little tasks have be written on a list to get done??"). This also helps me because when I see "45 minutes" next to a task, it reminds me that this is not an all-day project and I can limit myself to a certain amount of time to complete it. Sometimes I think I treat myself like a child, but it does seem to work...

The other notes I make on the list are checks and initials for delegating tasks. (I love delegated tasks.) The checks help me to know that just because I haven't crossed something off, doesn't mean I am not making progress!

On Friday (Finish-it Friday!), I will look at the list and focus on finishing anything I haven't completed throughout the week. I do have to be careful not to leave too much for Friday, though.

Oh, my. Is anyone still reading this? Bless you. But I enjoyed going through this process with myself and maybe it will motivate someone else to make a list. I am thinking it might be fun to save my lists in a folder. I never have, but it might be interesting at the end of the year to look back at them. I'll look at this week and think about how it was the week we found a blood clot in Doug's leg and we were collecting things to send with Haiti disaster relief teams. It hasn't been the best week, I guess...but I am sure I'll be able to look back and say that I can see God's hand in every bit of it.

I'll share more about Doug's medical issues when we know more. Right now it's just doctor's visits and medication and self-injections and lots of pain and too much waiting. What a week. But when I look at the photos of the devastation in Haiti, I am reminded that we are so rich and our access to medical care is such an amazing blessing.

Back to the Tackle-it Tuesday list...if you decide to post yours on your blog, let me know. I want to see!

[My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:15-16]


Jennifer said...

Thanks for sharing your list ... I like how you designate times - I might have to try that approach, make the tasks more achievable! Sending good thoughts for Doug!

brickmomma said...

I like your list! Seems very real and like a format I could copy :)

I am praying for Doug.

What sort of bags are you making for Haiti?

Gina said...

From one self professed list maker to another I loved seeing your list. Makes mine look very easy! ;D I make my lists in a notebook and I love to look back over them. They are a journal of sorts. I hate to hear about your husband. My sister has has blod clots in her legs before and has even had to stay in the hospital. She took blood thinners and had to get her blood checked once a week but it is under control now. Thankfully, Doug's was found. Some people ignore the pain.