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How to get sh** done with a To-do list

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The To-Do List

She(WMBO) swears by them. She makes one for herself everyday. She is always on me to do the same because I never seem to get enough accomplished for her likes. I make snide remarks about her Lists that she leaves next to the coffee maker many mornings, but they do work.

I think I should do to-do lists. So I did a little looking around at various sources and consulted with my local resident expert in such things and I came up with this list of things to do for a to-do list.

1. Decide how you want to keep it. The classics: Paper and pencil? Modern: The iPhone App? I came with the phone even and has a share function. Not sure I want to do that because things may suddenly show up I didn't put there.

2. Several lists. One each for short term, intermediate, and long term projects. Today, this week, this month. Of course there is always the Bucket List. My sister has everyone's birthdays on her calendar. All twelve of us, our spouses and our children and grandchildren. I hate my sister.

3. Simplicity. Lists with too many rings to do are intimidating. I can't do 25 things today. I can do five or six. That's the advantage of having other lists, I can pull stuff from those lists if I really want something to do.

4. Prioritize. List Most Important Tasks and make sure they get done.

5. Do the simple stuff right away. Empty the dishwasher. Really how long does that take? I can do that while my eggs cook. Fold the laundry. I hate the laundry, but it is my job. And really it only take a couple of minute.

6. Break up major tasks. This could go with simplicity. I am preparing to have hardwood installed so I have to take up the carpets. And fix any bad areas of the subfloor. And pull the staples. And take up the tack strips. And bust up the ugly tile in the kitchen. and. and. and. But just saying "Prepare the floor for the installers. " is too simple.

7. Be specific. Some things cannot be done by one person. She(WMBO) hasn't allowed me to touch a paintbrush in about 35 years. I messed up one project and now I am not allowed to paint. There is a method to my madness. But now is the time to paint. But before she can paint, I have to plaster/patch. So "Paint" is too broad.

8.Include needed information. If I need to call for a dumpster, I need to have the phone number of the Big Yellow Dumpster Company before monday morning. Wasting time on Google looking up the number is, well, a waste of time.

9. Time. Some things need a time limit. Some things require a time of day. I could stretch out laundry sorting to 60 minutes if I wanted to watch a TV show. But it's really a 20 minute job. And if I need to call Mike in LA at 10:00, I need a reminder that 10:00 is actually 1:00.

10. Make it public. It is suggested that sharing list give me accountability that I need. But it also means that I expose myself to questions of "What did you actually DO today?" I hate accounting for my time.

11. Schedule scheduling. Hey, it takes time to make a list. Making a to-do list is a to-do list item.

12. Me-time. I run. I find that if I have a long list, I tend to put my running at the bottom of the pile. In fact, I was supposed to run 13 miles on Friday and because of thing I felt absolutely compelled to get done I ran 0 miles on Friday.

13. Track progress. Cross stuff off as you get it done.

14. Keep old lists. If I can look at yesterday's list, or last week's list I can actually see that, yes, yes I did accomplish something.

15. Start fresh. Make a new list everyday. Have as few carry overs as possible.

16. Be realistic and flexible. Have time on your list for the unforeseen stuff like the washer overflowing or one of the kids has an Internet emergency.

OK. Now the number one thing on my next to-do list is to start keeping to-do lists.

Oh my kneeeeeees

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Before we get the hardwood floors, we have to take up the carpet. I already rented the dumpster ($275) so I have to do the work. Carpet, pad, tack strips. Then there are all those staples. The guys who laid the carpet must have been in love with staples because there seems to be about one every foot. Not just around the perimeter, but in the middle too.

I swear, if I knew what this job would entail, it seems so simple, and that they only wanted $425 to do it for me, I would have never rented the dumpster. There comes a time when you have to put a value on your time. Let's see $425 - 275 = $150. Yep. My time is definitely worth that.

I had to give up my run today to do this work. The run alone is worth $150 to me.

I may have a new favorite Facebook page ...

Friday, January 18, 2013

... other than ny son and Daughter-in-law's.

I love theirs because they post pictures of Colin. She brought him by today. It's amazing how fast babies change when you aren't looking.

Oh. Back to the subject. https://www.facebook.com/fitnessquot

Fitness Motivation

Here's one I saw shared today:

I know that's true.

And today I was reminded of the following quote when someone asked me why I was still going to Weight Watchers every week. "Aren't you done yet? You lost all that weight. So why do you still go?"

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” - Calvin Coolidge

Retire the finisher's medal? Perish the thought!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mark Remy's column at Runner's World asked this question yesterday:

OK, Time to Retire the Finisher's Medal
They're officially getting out of hand. Can't races find a more creative memento?

IN the beginning, medals were something special. According to Wikipedia, around the fourth century BCE, the Hebrew high priest Jonathan led his people in an alliance with Alexander the Great. Alexander was so grateful that he sent Jonathan a gold button. This was already apparently customary among the Greeks.

Eventually, everyone started giving out medal: the Nobel committee, government to soldiers, people Congress thinks did a cracker-jack job for our county.

Now if you cross the finish line, even at a walk with your cell to your ear, you get a medal. It's kind of like Little League where even the suckiest team gets a trophy.

DMGH Blue Sox
Sixth place Finishers
Desert Meadows Gardens Heights Little League
Team record
1-12 Regular season
0-1 Playoffs

Yeah, if we don't have one of those, our kids got one.

But come on. There was a time when only the first three runners got a medal and only for the Marathon. Because there wasn't a half-marathon. Everyone else got a cotton T-Shirt and a thank you.

Mark suggests that it's getting a little out of hand. Race directors are looking for ways to make their medal special. Spinning parts, bottle openers, one women's race hands out Tiffany necklaces (little ones, but still). The Little Rock Marathon unveiled their 2013 medal this week. Here is a picture to scale:

Ok, maybe not, but it's close. At 8 inches wide and 2 pounds, 12 ounces, it's sort of comically hefty.

He had some suggestions:
Finisher's Sash
Finisher's Crown
Finisher's Scepter
Finisher's Chalice (I did get a coffee mug once, does that count?)
Finisher's Sticker (Like we get for voting or giving blood)

He then opened comment for suggestions.
A Tax-Deduction. (Heck I run enough races, the gummint would owe me money.)
Various adult beverage glasses were suggested from Pint to Champagne flute
A belt like wrestlers get
Running shoes (that might be prohibitively expensive)
Lapel pins and coins. (I like that)

My suggestion:
"A letter to the runner's spouse that, 'Yes, I did indeed run a race that I must have indeed trained for and that all those long hours away from our bed soooo early on Saturday morning were not spent with an illicit lover... '

Or a gift certificate to Applebees."

Just checking in

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I wound up staying up way too late.

So no long true blog post tonight.

I was pulling up carpet in the advent of installing hardwood floors. Ok. No. Having hardwood floors installed. We found some serious water damage where the Washer leaked a couple of years ago. That's why I do this part. I can fix that stuff myself.

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