Crossing off The List

Since the show last week I’ve been crossing “to do’s” off The List.

When something needs to be done that I’m not going to do right this very moment, it goes on The List. We all have them in some form: sometimes written, but always in mental notes. They can be big things or little things, things to do with work or pleasure, home, family, friends, whatever.

The reason they go on The List is because I don’t have the time to get to them at the moment. The thing takes longer, takes research, takes miles, takes planning or takes decision-making. Maybe they’re time consuming, maybe wasn’t sure how to do or have never done before, or maybe involve difficult decisions. Depending on the urgency, some tasks have been on The List for weeks, months and even years.

Even though these things have been on The List, they are still taking up …..uh…… I guess mental energy is the best term I can think of. That means even though they are written on the The List, they’re still on my mind. And if something is still on your mind, that makes it harder to give 100% to what you’re doing. We all know what it’s like to try to do something and still be juggling a dozen or so plates in your head. Mental clutter.

This is discussed at length by author David Allen in his book, Getting Things Done, (one of my favorites, I highly recommend!) along with strategies to work through this mental clutter. My favorite quote from the book (and I refer to many times)

“There is usually an inverse proportion between how much something is on your mind and how much it’s getting done.”
— David Allen, author of Getting Things Done.

This past week, I’ve been getting things off my mind and off The List. Small things in and of themselves, but each has been on The List and in the mental clutter for up to 3 years. It’s about time I got to them.
– Replaced the kitchen faucet
– Documented my current Art Inventory
– Fixed the lawnmower
– Cleared some piles
– Stripped old paint off of air duct vents
– got car fixed and tuned-up
– Created new, more workable list of Art Contacts
– Drill and install knobs on kitchen cabinets
– Planted the last of the seeds
– Filed 6 months of paperwork
(not counting the usual full-time job and life things)

How do you handle your lists? Sure does make you feel productive to get old things crossed off The List. I still have things to do, but it’s amazing how much clearer things get; better have another glass of wine.

Long Stemmed Rose’ (sold)
oil on canvas

Long Stemmed Rose\' (c) TracyWall


About Tracy Wall

I'm an artist and massage therapist living in Denver, Colorado.
This entry was posted in My Art, Painting, That's Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Crossing off The List

  1. joy Schultz says:

    I think I need to read that everyday!
    thank you for the reminder!

  2. Con says:

    Working on my home chores list now, too, since the June festivals. Let us know when you are ready for a break and want to come up for a visit.
    The long stem looks refreshing!

  3. Faye says:

    I read that book, too. The thing that stuck with me was when you feel overwhelmed and make your lists, break large tasks into smaller ones, you also need to ask yourself what is my “next action” – meaning what can I do right now to get closer to my goal. It sounds so simple but really can propel you to get unstuck and get moving.
    I love you blog, Tracy – very thought provoking and insightful.

  4. Tracy says:

    Thanks Faye. David Allen has a good way of breaking things down himself in this book. (He practices what he preaches!)

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