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GUIDE TO ACTION
It's 11 o'clock and I wasn't going to write, and I read through my blogs and got up from the chair and then I came back and sat down to write something, because HEY! I miss you guys when I don't write.

I can breathe today without the intervention of pharmaceuticals: HALLELUJAH. I'm still not what you would call HEALTHY, but at least I feel like I'm on the mend.

We had an excellent guest speaker at the AWC meeting tonight; she's a coaching and training expert in personal efficiency and helps people learn how to be more organized, and find the best ways to be effective with their time, and most importantly, how to find a BALANCE. She spoke for 40 minutes and man, now I really want to take one of her 2-day courses. You know, here's the thing: I'm one of the most organized and efficient people I know, but there is always room for improvement, and learning about how to be even better at something I already do well is FUN. Also, knowing that my efficiency, speed and organized-ness (haaa!) scares people makes me grin evil grins.

Since she didn't have a lot of time to talk, she could only highlight a few topics and one was how to make to-do lists that really work. Do you use to-do lists? I do. I confess, I love them. Crossing things off them is fun, and crumpling them up and tossing them over my shoulder into the paper recyclables bag is even more fun. Anyway, the idea was that if you have items on your to-do list that never get done, re-examine what it is about the item that you want to achieve. CLARIFY it.

For instance! One of the items that has been on my to-do list for several months is "Martin's U.S. passport". It's not an action item; there's no verb there to jumpstart me to do something and plus, it hasn't been urgent because we're not traveling to the States anytime soon. BUT, it still needs to get done, and I started the process of gathering all the bits and pieces of paperwork and forms and photos MONTHS ago. But the issue with this particular item is that it's a huge PAIN IN THE ASS. I have to take off a day of work. ANDERS has to take off a day of work (if he doesn't I have to get a letter from him stating that it's okay that I get a passport for our child NOTARIZED), the kids have to be taken out of school, and we have to travel over to Denmark or up to Stockholm because the Embassy requires that children under the age of 14 must be PRESENT when renewing or applying for a U.S. passport. Plus all the rest of the hoops and rigamarole one must jump through.

SO, I need to change my rather fluffy vague "Martin's U.S. passport" item to something more specific: pin down a date that we can all get to the Embassy. Re-apply for the forms that are now outdated. Get a pre-paid registered envelope. Etc.

I have a to-do list at work, and I have several at home. They are always changing. I have the "someday maybe" list and the "not real urgent but needs to be done" list and the "DO TODAY" lists.

To-do lists keep me grounded. They're memory catchers and gathering places for ideas and wishes and plans. And one of the ones I keep re-writing down is: WRITE A JOURNAL POST TONIGHT.

There! I can cross that one off now.

WRITE A JOURNAL POST TONIGHT

What's next on YOUR to-do list? Besides comment on this post, of course?! :D

Giggly Squiggly Giant-Hug-Wiggly Super Birthday Wishes to Christina Rosalie!!
 pleased
mood: pleased
music: Sondre Lerche—You Know So Well


Comments

Review and submit application for the Schweitzer Fellowship
Find out exactly when my doctor's appointment is in March
Make a dentist appointment
Settle on a date & location for my sister-in-law's baby shower
Figure out what I need to review for pharmacology
Sew a school patch on a scrub top
Get car aligned and emergency brake checked
Taxes!

You know, anything that involves picking up a phone and calling someone is what ends up staying on my list forever!

ha! those are the ones that get done first around here! They're easy!

To-do list TOO much to do!

This weekend I made a to do list for my tutoring program that I recruit for and pick out books for the tutors to read to students. And when I was done I felt so defeated because there was so much and I didn't know where to start! I finally broke it down better. I.E. Instead of,make name placecards, I put: cut out names, color code, match with tutor. That was easier but I still didn't get all of my tasks done.

I am very good at making lists. Doing them/ Not so much!
Joy

Re: To-do list TOO much to do!

YOu did exactly the right thing by breaking it down into more specific tasks, though. Good start! :)

I ALWAYS have a to do list going, sometimes more than one. I am a listy listerson for sure.

Sometimes an item stays on my list because I am not ready TO DO IT, but I want to keep it in my consciousness, I want to remember it in the meantime.

The next thing on my to do list is to go to sleep, but I already have a long list for tomorrow, errand day.

I agree! Sometimes keeping it on the list helps keep it in the front of your mind. Your mind isn't the best place to keep things, so lists are awesome!

Yay lists! I am very listy too. I have a dedicated spiral-bound notebook on my desk, and I make lists in three columns per page before moving on to the next page (where yes, one of the last items on each list is "make new list", and I carefully transfer all remaining undone items to the new page. I have a few of those undone items, too. "swedish paperwork", for instance, which basically amounts to both Magnus and Evelyn's Swedish passport. It's a pain in the ass for us, too, because it requires M taking a day off and us all driving about four or five hours one-way.... twice. They make you come in person to apply and then to pick up, or at least they did when last I researched it. I have not been relying as much on my lists as usual... my crossed-off ratio is looking surprisingly good, for once. Awesome.

Passports are such a PITA, for everyone!

I wish I could embrace the list-making way of life. One problem I often have is that I will attempt to make a list, then promptly misplace it, rendering it completely useless.

We also need to do the passport renewals all the way around. Mine is ok, and Anders has his US one, but both of Ingrid's have expired, we never got a Swedish one for Anders, and G's Swedish one has also expired. The same reasons prevent us from following through on that one.

Passport = pain in the patootie. For sure!

I'm the same way and my husband solved my problem with this. I have gmail and there is something through Google called "Google documents" so you save word, excel, etc docs through them. So I can make a list and then just access from any computer. You could get to yours at work or at home. Now putting in paper form, I'm with you there . . . it isn't a good idea.

May I suggest rewording the 'passport to-do' to: FREE DAY WITH FAMILY-- while getting passport? To share my to-do list would mean going from room to room finding lists in various locations. Ahhh! Off the top of my head: Flea treatment for See-A-Tee, paint door casing, install door casing, touch up paint in bedroom, menu plan, grocery shopping, plan art lesson, clean off desk in order to do previous entry, and so on. It can get pretty mundane. I just love your description, 'memory catchers' because I need all the help I can get in the memory dept.!

That's a great idea! Though I'll still have to figure out when to schedule it, since the kids are already taking a week out of school for their ski trip :)

(Anonymous)

Just saying hello because I'm back in blog-reading and -writing land again. I'm so with you on the to-do lists and being smug because I'm more organized than others. Bad Heather.

Heh. Bad Lizardek, too :D

(Anonymous)

I've learned that if I don't keep my lists all in one spot (an A5 notebook - fits in all my bags and is big enough to write in) then I'll lose them and not follow through. Plus the notebooks are fun idea/moment catchers and wind up serving as impromptu diaries in between blog posts.

Current scrawled note for today-
Baby clucks tongue for fun now. Seems to think he telling me something. (Look up tongue clucking languages?)

Favorite to dos on today's list -
Pack for U.S. trip
Make list of books to look for in States!

julia@kolo

I like that last item! :D

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