I love to make lists. They help me get things done. They help me remember things I eventually want to finish. They help me prioritize tasks and not waste time thinking about what I should do next.
Yet… there are things that have been on my to-do list for
months, okay, years that I never seem to get around to. I know I should
break the task down into smaller elements, but… I never get a round to that
Instead, for a
week year or two, the task might drop
off my to-do list, only to come to mind later and be added back onto it.
Here are the top five items I haven’t managed to scratch from my to-do list:
1) Knit a sampler baby blanket.
I started this self-designed blanket when I was expecting my first child, ur, 28 years ago, to try out all the cool knitting stitches in a knitting guide I’d received for Christmas. Three children and four grandchildren later, it is still warming a spot in the bottom of my knitting bag. I have not knit a single stitch on it in 28 years, yet, I keep thinking maybe one day. With grandbaby #5 due in less than a month, perhaps today should be the day!
2) Finish 2 cross-stitch projects.
(I started both of these more than 2 decades ago and they are both ridiculously close to being done, yet apparently, oh, so far. Now… I actually picked up one this past winter and purchased the thread I needed to finish the outlining and worked on it, but alas, another pending deadline intruded. Or maybe it was that cool new knight’s costume I knitted for my grandson.) I think there’s a moral here: Don’t start a new craft project until you finish the last one.
3) Organize photos.
Of course, this shorthand descriptor makes the task sound w-a-a-ay simpler than it is. It should read:
Find all the digital photos taken and downloaded on various computers over the past decade and organize, label, print and put in photo albums.
4) Clean the basement.
I live in a 110-year-old home, where spiders and mice are regular uninvited visitors and the ever-so-industrious spiders work much faster than we do. Enough said.
5) Drywall the upstairs bathroom ceiling.
Okay, there’s a legitimate logistical issue here, because although the ceiling is teeny weeny, first it needs to be stripped of plaster and lath. But before I can do that, the attic insulation needs to be shoveled out from on top of it, to keep the loose-fill insulation and I don't want to think about what else from landing on my head. But before I can do that, I need to don a respirator and scrounge up the courage to face the ninety-plus degree heat up there and, oh yeah, the bat we need to evict.
I guess I should add “evict bat” to the to-do list.
Now that I've hopefully made you feel better about your own to-do list, here are my tips for conquering those stubborn items.
- Let it go! (breaking into a Disney song here)
- Break the task into smaller doable chunks
- Hire a professional, or for the cash-strapped, trade tasks to work to your strengths
- Prioritize the essential and eliminate the superfluous
Your Turn: What’s on your to-do list that you never manage to get around to?
Sandra Orchard—winner of the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, among others—leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-medicine-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet, Another Day Another Dali and Over Maya Dead Body. When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her young grandchildren or hikes with her hubby and husky near their home in Ontario, Canada. Connect at: http://www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard
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Bat Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net