Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tomorrow Is the Day After the First Day of the Rest of Your Life


I've been doing it wrong.

You have, too.

Like me, you have made list after list, and lists OF your lists, to the point of listlessness, trying to do what you know is To-Do, and making occasional enormous Life Changing Goal Lists that will Make You Way Better in Ten Days.

I know. You're still not better. Me neither.

So listen up: I just bought us a clue.

I've figured out something really important: My daily lists only include the things I think I can get to, or the things I have to get to, or the things I believe I can control.

Right? I've been forgetting the most important thing of all: Every daily to-do list should include at least one meaningful task that is beyond my control, not do-able in a single day, or otherwise just plain impractical. Otherwise, I will never get to those six impossible things before breakfast.

My favorite way to make a list, generally, is to restrict it to the stuff I have to do before I can get to the stuff I want to do.

Or, if I do branch out and go list the stuff I want to do, I ghettoize it into a wishlist. Don't get me wrong: I love me some wishes, all the better if I'm keeping them at a social place like, say, Bucketlist.

Thing is, only today--after walking around on the planet for nearly 50 years--did it actually occur to me to mix them.

That's right. I am introducing aspirational diversity into my To-Do List. To-Day.

Like, here's today's list.
1. Post this.
2. Pay outstanding bills.
3. Finish Lucas project (small client)
4. Become fluent in French.

I mean, how am I going to keep Item #4 uppermost in mind or even have a prayer of finally making it real if I keep shunting it off to my dream list?

I won't be leaving behind some of the wonderful tools I've been using to stay organized, apps like

43 Folders*
Manilla
Mindmeister
Remember the Milk**
Smartsheet

And I won't stop finding sites like this one that make me want to put a cold washcloth on my head and lie down for a while.

Still. I like to think I am  baby step closer to actually tossing off bon mots in our time.

Try it. What's the thing you want to do today, every day, that never gets done? Put it on your list every day for a week and see what happens next.

*Okay, I don't really ever succeed at using 43 Folders, but I feel like I should.
**Okay, I also ignore Remember the Milk.

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