Wednesday, September 10, 2003

List of Things To-Do
by Jessica Delfino

EXAMPLE 1. - Actual "To-Do List" dated July 19, 2003.

1. Lose Weight
2. Get Computer
3. File Tax Returns for 2003
4. Apply for Job at the Art Institute
5. Talk to Mark about the Temp Agency
6. E-mail story to Details
7. Talk to William Morris lawyer
8. Read a book
9. Buy comfortable shoes
10. Take clothes to good will
11. Write in my journal
12. Try to figure out the psychology behind F.H.
13. Laundry
14. Make a lot of money
15. Quit this crazy scene
16. Write a good song
17. Talk to Wayne about the show
18. Call Conan - Find Alyssa
19. Sell palm pilot on e-bay
20. Update blog

Number of things I did since July 19, 2003: 3
Guess which ones they were?

(pretend this is upside down) Answer: 1, 18, 20

I have been keeping to do lists ever since I was old enough to do. I remember I started them as a recommendation from an english teacher or guidance counselor. I can't help but think that if either of them had just done what they had written on their to do lists, none of this would even be happening right now.

I usually try to write things on my to do lists that I actually intend on doing. It hurts me too much when I write things down on the list and then I find a list crumpled up between a book and a shoe on the floor, and I read the list and I realize I wrote the list a year ago to the day and the only things that got done were done through inertia and the inevitability of life happening. (Refer to items 1, 9, 11, 13, 20.)

It's not really that great to write to do items that are going to happen whether you mean for them to or not, there's no achievement in that. Sometimes I write, do the dishes, and then a few months later, I do them, but it is somehow unfulfilling. On the list, it's a good idea to write goals that you would like to accomplish or things that you have been putting off. For example: Get through a phone call to mom without feeling irritated, or, Call mom.

Some people might think of to do lists as something that a business person or type A personality or organized douche-bag type would do. Not so. Though I am probably a little bit of all three of those
examples, I had a friend who was none of those who used to keep awesome to do lists. My friend was affectionately referred to by last name only. Masten was one of those kids that you knew would go no where in life, and that's exactly what he did, and he did it with such ferocious vigor, you can't help but love him even more. We shared an apartment in Augusta, Maine, back when I was 18 and he was just your basic run-of-the-mill loser. I was in college at University of Maine, and he decided he wanted to get his shit together, so he sat down to write a to do list one day. It looked like this:

1. wake up
2. get pills
3. buy weed
4. take nap

I think he even spelled it "by" weed. When my roommates and I found that list, we laughed so hard that he became our favorite person. It was too perfect.

If you're thinking about starting a to do list, now might be the perfect time. It's easy. All you need are the following materials:
TIP: A pencil or marker will do

1.Write down the things you want to do in the order which you want to do them in.
2.Do those things
2.Don't do those things*

*but now instead of mentally knowing you had things to do and feeling bad about not doing them, you have a written note to yourself as a reminder to continue being aloof.

Congratulations, you're one step closer to being less (or more) aloof. Carry the list in a place that you will remember to look at it, like your pocket or purse, or on the fridge. Try not to lose it. If you lose it, on your next list, be sure to write down not to lose the list. It's also fun sometimes to write as an item, do the things on this list.

If you can write a to do list and then do all the things on that list in that day or the next day, you are a better person than anyone in the world. Please go and pat yourself on the back. If you can't, don't feel bad, neither can I.

No comments: