Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cassy’s Corner- To Do Lists

I’ve been making lots of “To Do” lists lately. Some of my lists actually have items that say, “Make To Do list for xxxx.” So my lists have lists. I have been known to write down tasks that I have already accomplished, just for the pleasure of scratching it off.
With lists I’ve discovered I approach them in four different ways depending on what the topics are and where physically I am.
First, if I’m thinking through the normal activities of my house I use my own shorthand. I know what I mean when I mark down something like dgs/fd that I have to order more dog food from the supplier I use. Scrts- that’s to pick up the prescriptions at the pharmacy. My husband picks up my notes and shakes his head, incomprehensible.
Then there are the lists that have to do with phone calls, repairs to the house, follow-up conversations for whatever. Those lists are a little more detailed so I can remember what it was that I needed fixed and why. So it might have the phone number of my repair man along with a note that says, “dryer has odd thumping sound from right side in the back after running for 20 minutes.”
The third kind of list happens when I travel. I have diligently created a spreadsheet on my computer of all the things I must take with me on a journey. Do I use it? Of course not. I write it out each time. Why, I have no idea—I just do it. Always included are things like: computer, charging cord for computer, cell phone, charging cord for the cell phone, passport, leave money for the housekeeper, set the alarm. You’d think I’d have this down by now, but I still make the list.
The last kind of list I make is when I’m in unknown territory and need to not miss important points or issues. I’ve just returned from Iowa (hence the late posting today) and realized I needed yet another pad of paper in my bag to record all I had to remember. This time it was about putting care together for my mother-in-law. So the list was more like: Meet doctor at 5:30 am outside the hospital room, park in North garage for other doors are locked, call the social worker to coordinate transfer, obtain the paperwork for release of information. I promise you that list was longer than any of the others.
I go on about this not because you might be interested in how I organize my time. But rather, as I sat on the plane coming home and sorted through the pages of notes I had gathered, I realized I do the same process with my writing. I list my characters’ attributes, needs, challenges. I think through my setting’s contributions. I worry about my plot points.
I might sound a tad compulsive here. I’m not. I just move forward with more assurance when I have my lists.


Anita Clenney said...

Cassy, I'm not as big on lists as you are, but I use them to jot down notes that I'm afraid I'll forget. And the older I get, the more distracted I get and often do forget things. The problem is that I forget where my notes are. I'll write down the address of a book I have to mail out, then I go to the post office, dig in my purse, and the note isn't there. It's back at the house on the counter. I do the same with grocery lists, do to lists, etc. I'm really trying to get more organized with this new year.

Cassy Pickard said...

Anita, I hear you. I am the QUEEN of post-it notes as well. I often have a post it on my kitchen door reminding me to take my list.

Liz Lipperman said...

I think you and my daughter are related. She makes lists for everything. And so is my DIL. We just watched her babies for 6 days while she and my son played in the Bahamas. She made me a detailed list of the girls' schedules. On the nine-month old's, it said 7:00 bath. Be sure and wash her face.

Seriously, I needed to know that??

But like you, she does the details. Me? I make a short and dirty list, and then promptly forget where I put it. The good thing is that once I write stuff down I usually remember it.

Good post. And have a great writing day.

Cassy Pickard said...

Thanks, Liz. There is something so reassuring to know all I have to do is look at the pad and move on from there. The problem is too many pads, too many locations and too many tasks.

I'm glad you didn't forget to wash the gal's face. And you a nurse!

Lindsay said...

About the only list I make is for the grocery store. The one place I hate going. Without it I won't get the things I need but stuff I want.

Cassy Pickard said...

I hear you, Lindsay, but every time I go to the grocery store I either end up with stuff I don't need or forget the stuff I need. What is that about?

Lindsay said...

It's called selective memory Cassy

Cassy Pickard said...

Yup, back to my point about making lists! Hell, If only they'd take care of themselves and have to have me manage them.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

I write notes for everything cuz I am brain dead :-)

I too forget where I put half of them, though.

Hang in there, Cassy, and travel safe. Hope you got some work done with all the rain yesterday. Today we're dealing with snow. ugh.