My To Do List ~ The Sorry Story

to do list

to do list (Photo credit: ebby)

How did I do with the first “To do” list I posted last week? Since you, my readers are clamouring for an update (okay only one of you asked—but that is all I need), I will tell you how I did. The list will be in italics and my response in a regular font.  I know you can’t wait to see how I made out (yes, Sheldon, that was sarcasm):

1. First things first: I must write my On The Homefront column for the week for my newspaper deadline, which is Monday, and as of 6:45 on Sunday night, have no idea what the topic will be.

This is one of those things that have to be done every week. Yes I completed it, but due to its nature, have to do it again this week. The only time this is ever taken off my list is the week between Christmas and the New Year, as it is a holiday for the whole newspaper staff.

2. Write up council news taken from last week’s council meeting—discounting all the drainage and sewage discussions,…

Again this is something I have to do every week, except for the above noted holiday.

3. Write up the article for the Wine, Writers and Words Workshop.

This makes it way to this week’s list and for Monday’s deadline. Sometimes I have leeway with things that have happened, but not things that are going to happen.

4. Continue doing book work for our company.

Ongoing, and another one for this week’s list—I so hate paperwork and filing, and numbers—I like words!

5. Get everything into files—

I don’t want to talk about it.

Time Management

Time Management (Photo credit: Intersection Consulting)

6. Get some groceries and plan meals. Sounds easy but it is not. Or not for me. Will let you know how I do here.

This is one of those things that rears its ugly head week after week after week after (you get my drift). I did do it, but it has to be done again in a few days.

7. Get the house in some semblance of order which means get the pile of clothes off the bed and into the closet or drawers. Seriously, I cannot die suddenly, as my bedroom is in such a terrible mess I would be blushing in the next life over what I left behind.

Thinking about having a living will that says no one is allowed in my bedroom after I die except my husband. This is a mean thing to do to him, but at least finally the bedroom will be clean.

8. Email my youngest son, Tyler who is at college and my sister Peggy every day. Expect to hear back from Peggy. Be surprised if Ty ever emails back. (I am one of his free calls on his phone, so we do talk often).

Did this religiously, may have missed one day for each of them. As predicted, my sister writes back, but Tyler calls.

9. Do some kind of  post for this blog every day; keep up with my blogging friends.

So for the first week in a long time, I think I missed posting for a day. It was probably my rebellion due to the fact that it was on the list.

10. Prepare a presentation for my Writers’ Group about blogging.

I was going to email them at the last minute to say I did not do it, but pulled myself up by my frayed bootstraps and did it. It was not really that hard because so many of you helped me out with your suggestions—so I used your responses to provide them with answers from a variety of people, instead of just me. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

11. Work on my October book and an intro to my On The Homefront book—thinking of calling it “The Worst of On The Homefront.”

I did both of these this morning before I wrote up this account of my To Do list so I could say that I had done them.

The good thing about “To do” lists is that you do some of it because you have to, you rebel against some of it (which does not really pay off in the end as you still have to do them), and it makes you do things you know you should. The best thing is that I finally went back to my book-in-waiting “Always October”  with a new twist that will help move it forward, and I got a good start on my “On The Homefront” book by writing up part of the introduction.

All in all, I would give myself an A+. (I am a pretty easy marker unless I am marking other people’s papers.)

Published in: on October 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm  Comments (31)  
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Very Interesting, But Stupid

“Multi-tasking: screwing everything up simultaneously.” – Anonymous

Read something recently that explains everything. Especially for those of us who brag that we are “multi-taskers”. From the cofounders of Button Up, “a company dedicated to helping stressed women get organized” come these words of surprising “time management truths”: multi-tasking “impairs intelligence and hurts efficiency.”

Who knew? I always thought of multitasking as a way to “mix things up” and keep boredom at bay while doing a number of mindless or not so mindless but unpleasant tasks. But I am wrong. (And no, this is not the only time I have ever been wrong, or ever will be wrong, no matter what my family says.)

The “Button Up” girls,  Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore wrote an article called the “Nine never changing laws of managing your time”. Number five dealt with multitasking. They said that researchers at the University of Michigan “have shown that multi-taskers actually take longer to finish work than those who did each task sequentially.” What really piqued my interest though was their provocative statement that “top-tier institutions like UCLA have shown that switching between tasks impairs our ability to learn and even impairs our IQ more than smoking marijuana.”

Apparently there are different ways to multitask, some less harmful than others. I Googled “advantages of multitasking” and found some info which broke the term down into two parts: background tasking and switch tasking.   Background tasking is “something completely mindless and mundane in the background such as exercising while listening to (a) CD, eating dinner and watching a show, or having the copy machine operate in the background while you answer emails.”  They noted though that “switch tasking” is “switching rapidly between one task and another” and that no matter how quickly that takes place in your mind, there is a high cost to switch tasking. As happens so often when you Google something, you are left with having to imagine just what the high cost is. I guess it is the time lost while going from one task to another, and remembering where you are in the task—at the beginning, the middle, or the end, as well as refocusing your energy and mind.

Some things fall just naturally under multi-tasking and are really neither background tasking nor switch tasking.  Cooking is multi-tasking at its most elevated level. Seriously, if you are fixing Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the fixings—if you follow the theory of the “Button Up” girls, and do everything sequentially, then you would cook the turkey, then the potatoes, then the stuffing (if you do not stuff the turkey as so many nutritionists are advocating now so you do not food poison yourself), then the corn, then make the jello, then thaw out the pumpkin pie (okay, you get the gist), you would be having Thanksgiving dinner about three days after you started. Now, I know I am being ridiculous to make a point here—but multitasking is a necessity in some areas of life.

Thanksgiving dinner in Canada.

Thanksgiving dinner in Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modern technology lends itself to multitasking—we can do laundry, run a load of dishes through, talk on the phone, all while making scrambled eggs. The only danger here is that you will run out of hot water, or start stirring the eggs with the phone, which could get a bit messy.

I understand that there are some real dangers to multi-tasking though—especially if you are driving. Statistics have borne out the fact that we are not meant to chat on the phone, or heaven forbid, text while we are driving.

Apparently a study was done with high multi-taskers and low multi-taskers, and the former underperformed, had trouble filtering out distractions and in the end had a poorer memory. As I stated at the beginning of the article—this explains everything. It also explains why cooking, the ultimate multi-tasking task is not my strong suit.

Published in: on February 7, 2012 at 11:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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