The life queue

Everyday and every morning I make a to-do list. These lists usually consist of things I need to get done in the more immediate future, namely that day. There are oftentimes some aspirational items on my list as well. I place said items on my daily to-do lists to remind me of what I am striving for at the end of the day. I also have longer term items, such as plan my son’s birthday trip to remind me things come up quickly in life. I know I have to keep the eye on the ball (multiple balls, that is) at all times. I keep my old to-do lists (which I write on yellow pad paper) for a while so that I can go back and keep refreshing my lists. I walk around with pockets filled with yellow pieces of paper. Oddly, they keep me moving forward and grounded.

I started off this year with the motivation to write two books. Then life and crazy work demands continued to happen. Cortisol levels spiked and I had to hit the treadmill even harder. I write notes while on the treadmill. However, that to-do item of “chapter outline” continues to make a guest-star appearance on every list I have written this past year.

Now, while I maintain a daily, weekly, and monthly to-do list, I also have a bucket list of sorts. Well, not really. Bucket lists, all the rage since a movie thusly named was released in 2007. Bucket lists where you write out all the things you hope to do before you die seem a bit morbid to me. They also seem a bit antithetical to living.

Putting something in a bucket doesn’t seem that inspiring to me. I put a broom and a mop in a bucket. I have used buckets to capture drips. I have buckets under the kitchen sink in case I ever need one to scoop out a flood or small overflow. I put an umbrella in a bucket by the door. Only taking out the umbrella when needed; otherwise it stands forgotten therein. Why would I want to put my life goals and aspirations in a bucket list?

By placing my goals on my daily to-do lists I keep them present in my everyday life. Yes, many of those larger goals end up at the back of the queue. Yet, they are there for me to see and fleetingly process. Today, my to-do lists consists of:

Submit expense report (tedious and should get done today)
Hold four meetings (not as many as usual)
Finish writing up media analysis
Work on twitter powerpoint for conference
Send out agenda for tomorrow’s teleconference (that I will have to take while walking from one meeting to another)
Buy gummy vitamins
Buy birthday gifts for my niece
Plan Australia day trip (awesomely fun, hope I get it done between meetings)
Write up offer letter
Organization book chapter outline (aspirational)
Write up bank of blogs
Plan my son’s birthday trip
Read next chapter in book on starting up my own business (aspirational)
Watch recorded shows to bring down the viewing queue
Workout on treadmill

Before heading into the office I will grab my new favorite drink; that being a caramel macchiato. Sugar and caffeine make me happy and productive. Perhaps my hands shake a bit but I surely get to check off items from my to-do list.

One day soon that book chapter outline item will get a check mark next to it on my daily to-do list. No waiting till the end. Instead it will be part of my everyday waking conscious until it is done. Onwards to the next set of items.



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