...wherein a girl packs up her dissertation and moves to the Pacific Northwest to learn what it means to build a life as a someone's partner, finish a dissertation, and make a life and home in Seattle, WA .

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Goals, Lists, To-Do

I like making lists.

Pen for short-term lists, for lists of things "to-do," for grocery lists, for packing lists, for making sure I don't forget.

Pencil for the longer-term lists - lists which require careful planning and deserve fastidious, elegant handwriting.  I don't write these lists in pencil because it gives me the option of erasing goals or items.  Those goals would never disappear - palimpsests would simply be in their stead.

I write out lists by hand.

Seeing my handwriting makes me believe those things listed on the page more.  They are a part of me, they are what I believe in, they are what I stand for, they are what I must do.  The list is a part of me and I am made up of each of those items.

I am a chronic list-maker. Shit just runs better around here when lists are involved.  The house will not fall apart if there are no lists, but if there are no lists, then it is a sure-fire sign that I might be falling apart.

The lists are not a Partner thing; they are totally all about me and my Type-A personality.  The lists help keep me from frittering away my day, my week, my year.  The lists help me keep track not only of what I need to be doing

fold laundry
call airline re: miles
pick up stamps
order food processor
deal with car registration/inspection
make list of office days/research days for this week
begin working on syllabus for spring
plan diss schedule for Feb.

but also what I want to be doing - what the goals are for this year, this month, this week.  The list helps me keep those goals in sight both literally and metaphorically.

More than making lists, I love crossing things off of those lists when I've accomplished them.


Anonymous said...

I love lists too. Back when I worked in an office, I made a list every evening of what I had to do the next day. It was detailed, even down to things I would automatically do. If you put: 'make coffee', 'turn on computer' and 'check voicemail', then you have three big ticks basically before you even begin the work day. That's the other thing: I always put a little box to the left of the task to put a big tick in. Or a check as I think it might be called where you are.

Rachel said...

Yes, I too sometimes place things on my list that I know I will be doing right away just to be able to place a line through them - I prefer crossing things off to ticking or checking a box. Perhaps 'turn on computer' should go on my lists as well.

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