Saturday, July 03, 2010

Step 1: Make a list

1. Allison has a list for this weekend. She blogged about it.

2. XUP also had a post on lists a while back. It was long enough ago that I've decided I'm too lazy to look it up.

3. I use many lists of various kinds to organize myself. They are helpful to keep from forgetting things.

4. Seeing many items crossed off your to-do list can give you a great sense of accomplishment.; electronic to-do lists are bummers because you only see the items you haven't yet completed.

5. Reusable checklists are also useful, to track processes that you are likely to repeat...:
a) ...frequently, because you're more likely to use it
b) ...infrequently, because you're more likely to need it

6. If you have a lot of things to do in a short period, like things to get during lunch hour or places to go on Saturday, number the items in the order in which you plan to do them. Put your list on your handlebar-mounted clipboard to track your progress.

7. Be realistic. If you have too many things to do for the time available, put a section at the end of the list for things (both pleasurable and painful) to not do. At the end of the day, feel good for having not done the ALL things on your to-not-do list. (I just discovered this today and it works great!)

H. Sherman's Lagoon had a really funny Sunday strip a few years back about lists, which I can't find online anywhere. Probably 2004 or 2005ish. I cut it out and gave it to my dad, which I think is lost. Hawthorne (the crab) was telling Sherman (the shark) about how useful his list is.

8. Among the gems in the strip was the line (paraphrased from memory), "and if you do something that isn't on the list, you can put it on the list and strike it out!" And the punch line:
a) Sherman: "Wow. I need a list."
b) Hawthorne: "Here, take mine!"

[Edit: I found a copy:]


9. I lost my list once. It made me quite...distraught. (You thought I was going to say "listless", didn't you? That would have been too easy.)

10. Lists only work if you remember to consult them. This is what differentiates "list people" and non list people.

11. Lists are generally non-transferrable. Even for highly organized people, everyone uses and understands lists differently.

12. You can make a quasi-list from technologies not traditionally list based, for example:
a) Leaving messages unread or starred in your inbox;
b) Writing draft blog posts;
c) Stacking your unpaid bills;
d) Leaving tabs open in a browser

13. Similarly, when I remove my shirt at the end of the day (and it's still clean), I hang it in the closet to the left of all the other shirts. Over time, this creates a quasi-list of shirts I've worn, from most to least recently.

14. I like to use lists as insurance against forgetfulness. I think I might have said that already. See items 3 and 10.

15. Fifteen is about the most things you should have on any given list. Ten is popular, but fifteen is the maximum. Mmmmm... fifteeny

- RG>

7 comments:

Lynn said...

I laughed and laughed. You should totally read this one at next year's BOLO. On that note, everyone keeps asking me if you are going to be there. You're disappointing your fans, dude!

RealGrouchy said...

Last I checked, I wasn't the one who scheduled this year's BOLO for a totally inconvenient time. If everyone keeps asking you if I'm going to be there, maybe that's a sign you should reschedule it...

- RG>

zoom said...

Listless. Ha ha ha ha ha.

Woodsy said...

I knew someone who had a list cemetery (a drawer in which she kept all her crossed off lists)

RealGrouchy said...

Woodsy - I actually have one of those at my office.

Okay, a couple. One for crossed-out stuff (stuffed in envelopes by year), and a binder for my lists of things I did each week.

- RG>

XUP said...

I don't remember ever doing a post on lists. I'm not a list-maker, so I can't imagine writing anything about lists. But I will take your word for it. I think we should have a mini-BOLO after the main BOLO some time so you can read to your fans

RealGrouchy said...

Hm... then I guess I saved a lot of effort by not looking for the nonexistent XUP list post! (The system works!)

- RG>