Friday, June 22, 2012

getting things done

Awhile back I posted an extremely ambitious "stuff to do this summer" list, which (as I realized before summer had really even started) would need to be prioritized.  I then proceeded to spend A LOT of time wallowing.  For a couple of weeks I barely did anything except be depressed.  Since then, though, even though I haven't been studying enough Greek, or writing enough, or getting enough done on the house, my life has been more or less functional.  Since it feels good to conquer the crushing burden of being responsible for all of one's own time, I thought I would share the tool that most helps me: a weekly checklist.  Or perhaps more accurately, a "weekly checklist."

Here's how it works.  One day, when I'm wallowing in bed or perhaps killing zombies at some ungodly rate, I spring from my lethargy and try to make a realistic-ish accounting of what I'd most like to and be able to accomplish in the next week.  The one I'm using right now (started yesterday) looks like this:

On five occasions, do each of these:
Do Tai-Chi 
Meditate (10-30 minutes)
Get 5 fruit and veg in a day
Maintain friendships and/or practice kindness

On three occasions, do each of these:
Study ancient Greek (30-90 minutes)
Draw (30 minutes)
Study music (30 + minutes)
Study for GRE (30 + minutes)
Do other writing
Get other exercise
Work on house (60 + minutes)
Read to prepare for school

They're all listed out in a notebook.  I put a star after each thing as I do it.  If you'll notice, I have (5x6) + (3x9) goals, which means 57 total.  I'm shooting for ten stars a day and a day off.  The list doesn't include other basic things which better'd damn well get done regardless, like shopping, cooking, cleaning, watering the garden, etc.  They are the things which I tend not to get done, or which, being done, make it so that other things naturally happen.  Here's the best thing: I don't usually make it through a whole week with a list, but it still mostly works.  

Anyway, that's my secret bullet.  Until I get bored and invent a new one, anyway.

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