Wednesday, August 7, 2013

To Do Lists and Calendars

To do lists were a standard part of my day when I had a career. They were a good news/bad news kind of document. On the one hand, I would feel good when I got to cross things off and on the other, there were always a few tasks that I was putting off that would show up day after day, mocking me.

My calendar was virtual, part of Outlook, and 99% of it tracked the endless meetings that comprised the lion's share of my work day. Sometimes, I'd block out chunks of time in an attempt to get some items crossed off that to do list. Occasionally, there'd be a reminder for a personal thing like a dentist appointment. Other than that, mind-numbing meetings ad nauseum.

You know, I never thought deeply about what my day-to-day existence would be like when I retired, but I never thought I'd need a to do list or a regularly updated calendar. I suspect I fancied it would be more carefree and relaxed than the reality of retirement. I have a hardcopy calendar for the year and a pad entitled "Crap" that tracks my to do items. I'd be lost without these two things.

And, honestly, these tools help de-stress my life. If it's on the calendar, I don't have to remember it. Same for the to do list. I'm tracking doctor's appointments, meals out with my family and calls I need to make. Not client presentations and boring meetings. There's only one thing on my to do list right now that I'm procrastinating about. It's for my mother ... I really should get it done.


Muffie said...

I've always been a list maker, and I know the feelings you have about your to-do lists. I've learned to keep mine realistic anymore. I use the Outlook calendar now as I did before, but sometimes I really don't need the reminders.

Cranky said...

List making is good -- helps to make you feel under control. I like how my lists are now just one off tasks that keep the household moving along. Those Outlook reminders ... bah!