Wednesday, February 22, 2012

To Do lists, who knew?

A few weeks ago, while cleaning out a drawer, I found an old journal-style notebook that I had written in a little but was mostly unused. It was too good to throw away, but I'm doing my "journaling" on my blog now, and I know that I won't use this notebook for that anymore.

So I turned it into a sort of daily planner, or a list of things I need to do. That list is quite lengthy most of the time, and I think my brain must be turning to mush or something because I keep forgetting to do some of the things that are on the To Do list that I usually keep in my head. It's helped me not lay awake at night worrying that I'm missing something vital that I should be doing but can't remember what that vital thing is. I write down in my little book whatever pops into my head that needs attention.

I've been writing the date and the list of tasks that need to be done. I cross them off when they are finished, and it makes me feel good about myself. I like that it's not a real daily planner - the kind with a separate page for each day - because some of these jobs might take me a week or more to finish, and this way it doesn't matter if I finish it that day or not. When I'm done with something I just go back to the page I wrote it on and cross it out. I don't have to re-write the unfinished jobs on the next day's page. In it I can write grocery lists, addresses or phone numbers that I need, directions, recipes, and notes to myself. There's plenty of room. There's no calendary pressure.

The phrase "Calendary Pressure" is my own invention. It means the anxiety you feel when February 22nd's list won't fit on February 22nd's page but bleeds over on to February 23 or 24. At the same time, some days are completely empty, so it feels like a waste when you the year is over and you're throwing away a half-empty planner. This way, some pages can have 2 or 3 days worth of list on it, some days' lists might go on for 2 or 3 pages.

I do still have Calendary Envy, which is what I feel when I see people who have a "real" daily planner and seem organized and perfect and "put together". I've tried it in the past and I have made my peace with the fact that I don't have that kind of life. Or personality. Or whatever it is that those people have that I don't. Which peace, incidentally, doesn't cure Calendary Envy at all.

At any rate, I've found something that works for me. I like my notebook because it's spiral-bound which means that I can open it all the way and spin the front around to the back, which you can't do with a stitch-bound book. No trying to write in the crease, and the book lays open perfectly flat. I also like that it has a hard cover, which makes it easy to write on when I'm not at my desk or some other good writing place. I can write in it when I'm sitting in my comfy chair or in my car. The only thing that would make it a little bit better was if it fit in my purse. When this one is full, I'll look for one that does.

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