the constant to do list

There are a few of us who wake up in the mornings and wait to see what the day will bring.

Then, there are folks like me who wake up in the mornings, get out the pad and pen, and write a to-do list.

making a list, checkin’ it twice

sample, stock photo image of a to do list

Yes, this is just a sample, stock photo image. First of all, my handwriting is nowhere near this neat! Second of all, cigarettes are on this list!! Not me!!

Not sure if it’s right or wrong, or a happier way to be, but it sure keeps me edging towards my goals. I accomplish a lot more when I’ve got a list to check off. It gives my open-days structure. It helps me prioritize. Scratching off items gives me a little woo!! of happiness that I’ve done something good and productive.

This has been both a strength and a struggle. A strength, in all the ways I listed earlier. A struggle, in that it limits spontaneity, other people’s input, and can make things kind of intense if I don’t get to check everything off.


how intense is this list you speak of?

Below is today’s list. NOTE: I took today off from work originally for bridal portraits which were rescheduled, then for a family trip that was canceled, so now I was left with 12 blissfully unclaimed hours. *squeals with nerdy joy* Imagine the possibilities!!!!!

List for 11/27/13:

  • email cousin to let her know I’m drinking the awesome coffee she brought me from Cambodia
  • pick up mail
  • redo nails
  • start laundry
  • unload and reload dishwasher
  • pick up packages from apartment office
  • update wedding guest list addresses
  • call car dealership
  • plan dish for Thanksgiving feast tomorrow
  • go to grocery store for Thanksgiving dishes’ ingredients
  • write 3 book reviews (read these ages ago and have been meaning to write up reviews)
  • write the daily 1,667 words for NaNoWriMo
  • work on the freelance job through Elance I was contracted to do
  • finish “The Book Thief”
  • pay bills/rent
  • cook the Thanksgiving dish(es)
  • exercise/running
  • wrap early Christmas gifts (product of a previous day’s to do list of shopping for items on sale!)
  • call Mom about wedding invitations


Result? 8am through 1pm, pure accomplishment! After that time, pure exhaustion. What’s not listed on this list are other musts, like making coffee, eating lunch, showering, writing this post and watching “Sister Wives” on Netflix. (just kidding!)

So what’s the best thing to do? How can we accomplish all that we want to in the limited amount of time we have, while still being flexible and spending time with others?

Every day is a challenge of prioritizing – notice how my writing was near the bottom of the list. Gotta move it up if it’s going to get done! The “must-haves” should be pushed to the top, and “nice-to-dos” nearer the end. Easier said than done!

how do you manage your rare free days?


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