Friday, June 07, 2013

Procrastination - Revisited.

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Ansa on the East Coast Trail a couple of days ago. Click twice to enbiggen and you'll see her smiling.

I wrote about procrastination before. Here.
Things do get done. I was pleased to see that, yes, all that had been 'deferred' then has been taken care of. Eventually. But I find the tasks on my current list might well exceed my life span. Imagine how important this list will be to my heiresses when I pop off this mortal coil. Like, not at all. That is, if they could even find it.

So a fresh approach was needed. To make me feel better. And to see if it worked.

First of all I think the list itself was a problem. It overwhelmed me. And it all needed to be done. No escaping that. Some of it was idiotic you'd think. Like change my tires from winter to summer ones. How on earth could that be a 'task'. Well out here on the edge of the Atlantic, it's a task. The guy who changes my tires is 40km from here. And you don't just run in and out. It's a civilized thing. His wife might come out with a pot of tea and you visit. And then Tireman needs some bonding time with me. He's a collector of old gorgeous cars. And he shares his passion with a few of his fans, me included. You'd have to see his latest baby. 1959 Ford. Original upholstery. He's also a pet whisperer, you should see him with Ansa. But I digress.

Then there's a couple of visits along the way on tire day to friends who know my car and I can't just pass their houses. It's rude. So there's the whole day gobbled up to change the tires.

But I found what I have to do is transfer items every day from the long, long to do list on to a shorter list. And the daily shorter list gets done. I always include a task I was avoiding and then some 'fun' stuff which also needed attention. That included sorting the winter and summer clothes out. I have limited space here so if I don't want to be running around in an Aran sweater in a heat wave that must be done before summer kicks in. And there's my plot in the community garden which needs attention. And the Tely 10 training....

You get the picture. My daily shortlist is manageable. But if I look at the long list, I usually wind up doing nothing. Frightened.

Because in some ways, still, I'm 3 years old

20 comments:

  1. I'm always devising new ways to trick myself into getting things done, instead of wasting valuable time making lists of them. It doesn't work, but like you, I have a long term list and a day-to-day list. Things sometime stay on the long list for years, but in a given week, I get at least some of the day-to-day stuff done!

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  2. When we are on the Mainland my husband has to do small repairs and car maintenance for my daughter and son in law. Including putting on the summer tires, as he did on our last visit.
    My son in law is not handy at all.
    I am very spoiled around here and have told my husband that I have to go before him, because I would not be able to maintain our household without him.

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  3. Stick with the short list, then go have some 'three year old fun'. See you on the beach!

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  4. Thats partly why I like to get away to NL. In NS we have an old house and a big garden which I love but you could work on it 24 hrs a day and still never be 'finished'. This way we have to get a break from it. Of course I had to start a little garden here and somehow have many projects.. but I tell myself these are for fun and it really doesn't matter if they don't get done!

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  5. My ex-wife used to go ballistic over the chores on her list.

    When she did, I would tell her, "You can't put ten pounds of (whatever) in a five-pound box."

    Your short-list deals with the probable; the long-list, with the impossible.

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  6. I have a very funny life in which a lot of things happen all at once, and then nothing happens at all for a while. My agenda serves as a long term list and notes taped to the television serve as the very short list. My life is ten times simpler than yours though, and not at all comparable.

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  7. I've given up making to-do lists. I wake every morning, look around and think, "Now today's a good day to do that," and I tackle whatever it is I've noticed. Inevitably, "that" leads to "this" and my days end up being quite full. Sometimes important things don't get done and I think, "oh well. If I wake up tomorrow, I'll do it then!" I guess I'm serving my inner three year old, too!

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  8. Molly:

    And that is enough, I'm sure!

    XO
    WWW

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  9. Hattie:

    I do miss having a masterful competent man around but Leo fulfills some of that. And my handyman.

    XO
    WWW

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  10. GM:

    Ah the beach, love me some beach!

    XO
    WWW

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  11. Linda:

    You've struck the perfect balance!

    XO
    WWW

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  12. Marc:

    Well said, my friend, very well said!

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Irene:

    I had to laugh at notes taped to the teevee, I've attached notes to nearly everything in my life and one good one is on the inside of my back door which even lists, bring water for dog...lol.

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Pauline:

    A wonderful approach but when I try that I find myself playing the day away. The inner 3 year old can by a tyrant.

    XO
    WWW

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  15. I always put some easy tasks on the list just to be able to cross them off quickly. Helps keep me motivated.

    I just had to get new tires put on Thursday - but it was a matter of leaving my car and then walking back the half mile to pick it up at the end of the day.

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  16. WWW, oh my god. Want to meet your match? Take me on. The great procrastinator. Strange thing is, and I don't understand it: It's so NOT me. I am Ms Efficient. But appear to have misplaced myself for the moment.

    You know how I know that things are amiss? I should do something important and urgent, instead of which I sort something mindblowingly unimportant occupying the spot "Of no consequence". Please, dear God (I only use him and his name when in a hole) deliver me from this evil.

    Still, I grant you: Lists have a way of soothing a fertile and disorganised mind. When all else fails I will go through my kitchen cupboards and write a shopping list. Oregano made it onto my last. Easy to tick off.

    U

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  17. 3 years old. Yep.
    Can you come out and play?

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  18. I like your idea of a long list and a short list.

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