For women going places

Checklists for Fun and Profit


I’m a list person - a pen and paper chick. Seeing it written down imprints the meaning in my mind and the act of writing it seems to make it real. I have a Daytimer book with zipper case in the two page per day format. The left hand page has my To-Do list and hour by hour schedule and the right page is an open journal page (which usually gets filled up with notes, quotes, doodles, and password reminders).

Every morning I make my lists. I love the feeling of checking things off. Virtual checking off is just not as satisfying to me. I do have a program called Things on my Mac that is good for complicated on-going projects, but I don’t use an electronic calendar and I leave my Blackberry for emails, texts and phone calls.

I took one of those Franklin-Covey classes once and I like the idea of rating the To-Do items alphabetically. A - You are going to die or get thrown in jail or miss getting the money if you don’t do; B - You pretty-well better do these or you are going to worry and just have to face them tomorrow; C - These should probably get done but if you get lucky they will go away, get changed or get done by someone else and D - I sure am going to get around to that someday. My two overall categories are Gotta-Have-To and WBNI (Wibney) aka Wouldn’t It Be Nice If.

Sometimes it seems like a contest to see how many things you can have on your list. “I’m busier than you are.” If something appears day after day and doesn’t get done, there’s a message for you. Making a “not going to do” list is good too. I sometimes barter with friends and trading the thing on my list that I can’t done for something of the same quality from their list. Just explaining what needs to be done can often break the logjam in my mind that keeps me from accomplishing the task.

Another thing I remember from the class is to think of your dream goal – that thing you always wanted to do but keeps getting put off. Then back up and figure out what is the thing that you can do today, tomorrow or this week that will get you started on the path to that dream. It may be a simple as doing a Google search or buying a how-to book. This is your investment in your future and your own satisfaction. It also is the first step on the way to convincing yourself that you can do it. After all, now you’re working on it not just thinking about it. And you can check it off.

See you on the road (and we can compare lists!),

Road Reporter Deborah Harter Williams

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