Wednesday, January 23, 2013

To do, or not to do

When I was younger, I used “To Do” lists all the time. It helped me stay organised and focused. This was mainly when I was in my 20s and 30s, a time when I was an activist and had several projects on the go at once.

For no reason in particular, I just stopped. When I used To Do lists, I seldom forgot things; now I seldom remember. Okay, that’s not actually true, but in general I don’t remember some things as well as I did 20 or 30 years ago.

From time to time, I’ve used the To Do list functions on my computer calendar. The advantage was I could type it (my handwriting is now often hard for me to read) and my computer would send me alerts to keep me on track. Nowadays it’s even better because the lists can be shared with my iPhone and iPad, which makes it easier than ever to keep track of things. I still don’t use it.

So, I’m going “old school”: I’m using pen and paper.

When I used To Do lists, they were on paper (I designed my own list sheets that I had printed). I found that there was something about writing by hand that in itself seemed to help me remember things. In fact, there were plenty of times when I’d write something down and I’d remember to do it without even looking at the list.

Now, with my memory not as reliable as it once was, I’ll make sure to check the list, but I’ve already found that, as before, the act of writing by hand seems to help me focus. Seems to, I emphasise.

I haven’t been doing this long enough to see if it will help, or if I’ll be able to keep it up, but it’s worth a try. If nothing else, writing down the tasks I have to keep track of is bound to remove some of the stress from trying to remember everything I have to do. And, just maybe, it’ll leave some remembering space left over for other things.

Funny how sometimes the “old ways” seem to be the best way. I’ll see if in this case it really is.


d said...

Yep! I'm a fan of the "old way" - I have paper lists all over the place! :)

Roger Owen Green said...

I tend to e-mail myself, and mark them ACTION.

Roger Owen Green said...

Oh, I LOSE physical lists, which is why I e-mail them to me.