You Are a Winner. People Like You.
Coffee, sure. Go to bathroom, go right ahead. But chastise the cat? Poor kitty.
What a great list. I think I'll do the same. Mine might be even shorter, like "open eyes", and "breathe"!!!
1 wake up
2 send teenagers to school
Maybe I would get one thing done, not the vacuming or the dusting! Bring cool stuff it's hot here in Florida!
You forgot "Wake up". My personal favourite.
Just look at that lace you are knitting and KNOW that you are a winner. No matter what's on the list!
Don't forget "have a beer"!
I am so with you - drinking coffee should get extra brownie points.
Could you maybe think about chastising the cat and definitely drink some juice? Or would that strain things too too much? Wouldn't want to upset your system......
Oh, maybe you could add some yarn sniffing for stress relief?
Hello - That shawl is so pretty. Thanks for the pics and the post.
Don't forget to put on your list "cross items off list"!
Lists are all over rated and never followed in the end anyways
I do this from time to time. I have also been known to put things on a list that I've either already done or am very close to finishing just so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off my list.
Anything to save the sanity is definitely worth it!
This is the idea I've heard in a LONG time.
This is the best idea I've heard in a LONG time.
A fellow fibro-myagia friend told me about 'energy credits' when I was frustrated with my A type personality and my Z type accomplishments. You only have so many energy credits in a day, not chores. YOU choose where to spend those credits. Then you always feel successful even if one day it means lie on the sofa and read a favorite book from your childhood. In general, I plan to accomplish 1/3 of any list. I rarely get it done, but by golly, there is still something to look forward to the next day. Wear bright socks is a good one.
Anyone else remembering Frog and Toad? When the list blows away, you can't go after it because "Chase List" isn't on the list.
Although that might work in your favor, Steph.
List or no, you're obviously getting things done-- you publish more than a book a year, your house hasn't caved in or your children died of starvation, and everyone you know has handknit socks. If you like to obsess on what doesn't get done, so be it, but from this angle it looks like you're doing all that needs doing.
I need a list like that...a get-everything-done-but-nothing-that-desparately-needs-to-get-done list... I like it!
That's a thick sweater, and cabled to boot. Anyone who realized that two layers under there was a third layer missing would have been looking waaaaaay too hard.
Let me recommend a story I used to read to my daughter when she was little, and here's a little bit of it:
"The List" from Arnold Lobel's Frog And Toad Together ISBN:0064440214 :
One morning Toad sat in bed. "I have many things to do," he said. "I will write them all down on a list so that I can remember them." Toad wrote on a piece of paper: A List of things to do today.
Then he wrote: Wake up.
"I have done that," said Toad, and he crossed out: Wake up.
Then Toad wrote other things on the paper.
Eat breakfast | Get dressed | Go to Frog’s house | Take walk with frog | Eat lunch | Take nap | Play games with Frog | Eat supper | Go to sleep
The story goes on and is delightful. Now that's my kind of Toad! And Stephanie, you're a winner in my book!
What's done of the shawl is totally gee-orgeous!
If that's one of those gazillion stitches down to a very few stitches lovely lace objects, you're probably more than halfway done. (You could always bind it off and call it a "fichu" or whatever that shaped lace thing colonial ladies wore was called.)
Personally, I would leave "chastise the cat" off the list. Reason #1: cats have long memories and you will be made to suffer in some way in the future. Reason #2: cats are very good at ignoring things. I'm sure being chastised would be an activity yours would find highly ignorable. Reason #3: I can't do that at home because I'm outnumbered. I am "staff" to four felines, and the only reason I'm kept is to clean the litter box and open the catfood!
Don't laugh. I've done stuff like that. Sometimes I used to get so frustrated at getting to the end of the day and not knowing where it went. So I'd be sure to add the "new" action items to the list as I went along -- you know, the things I did instead of the things I thought I was going to do. And I'd check them off. I also would break down items into subparts so if it turned out I only got part done, I'd take credit. So think: make coffee, pour coffee, add sugar, add milk, stir coffee. FIVE accomplishments. It does wonders for self esteem!
OM Gosh! I'm near the top of the comments. THAT is going onto my to do list AND getting crossed of. How awesome.
I like adding "drink coffee" I can do that.
I think making a list of things you KNOW you will accomplish is very proactive. Go you! Look at that yarn--look the HELL out of it!
I think your list is fantastic, and let me tell you there has been more than one hectic period of time for me lately when I have done just that - I make to-do lists with tasks like "knit", "cook dinner", "take vitamins", etc, because then I know I stand a chance of getting SOMEthing done.
All will be well! The universe continues to unfold.
Definitely, first things first! ;)
(the shawl is beautiful!)
My list is such:
1. Get out of bed
2. Convince husband that it is ok for him to leave me at home all day with a newborn, and two toddlers.
3. Feed the toddlers some sort of breakfast.
4. DO NOT bust open c-section incision keeping toddlers in line
5. Spend majority of day nursing newborn milk lush.
6. Cry and wonder why on earth I conviced Husband that he could leave me alone with a newborn and two toddlers
7. Hide in bedroom till Bones comes on at three, once Husband comes home with 5 year old at lunchtime
8. Get chastised for not taking pain meds all day.
9. Eat at least one whole meal while not nursing a milk lush newborn
10. go to bed before sun comes up tomorrow.
I like your list better I think!
Oh and also - in the rules of list-making, it is 100% allowed to put an item on your list that you have already done, just so you can cross it off. Psychological payoff is huge.
I am ready to fly to Toronto and become your personal valet. I know how to cook and do laundry and answer phones. I think about 897 people would be willing to join me, to be able to free you up so you can only do about two things a day:
Knit, and fix up Sock Summit for us.
Really. Seriously. Give me a call.
1. Tear up all previous lists without reading
2. Have glass of beer
3. Get bowl of cereal out, pour on more beer
4. Get out yran and ndlees and have glass of red wine for balacned diet
5. Shout at kids to ererxcise patenerting skilllsh
6. Cast on new socks can do this in schleep and when not compleeetly shober.
7. glass more red wine.
9. Repeat from 1.
Definitely chastise the cat. Cat's are constantly deserving of being chastised.
Re: #8 -- put on your list - "do my part to conserve energy" rather than noting the same clothes being worn. You are saving on doing laundry and that is an earth friendly activity that may be crossed off daily. You are a winner and a good human being.
And thanks. I am now only writing today's list now, and it is 3:11. I think I'll put "read YH blog post" on it, so I can cross that off.
My list includes the following:
1. Go to work
1a: try not to mention yarn
2a: try not to mention sock yarn
3a: nor hat construction
2. Go home
3. Look at the horrible construct of a scarf and sigh meaningfully
4. Drink tea while looking at sock yarn
Busy busy... ;)
Is it cheating if you work all day, but when you sit down to cross items off the list, none of the hard work done is listed so you add it and cross it off, then walk away trying to stay focused on any one item on the list?
I say, start the list like this:
#1 Make list.
Sure fire winner. Yep. Take the victories where we can get 'em.
Hey, you're forgetting the number one rule about lists, just because you make them doesn't mean you have to look at them or much less follow them. Really, they're more a means for getting those around you to understand how to get on with the plan (your plan). You're a free spirit and THE MAKER (the overlord) of the list. It's orders don't apply to you by definition.
I think lists are highly overrated! Anything important enough to get done will get done, whether it's on a list or not. Anything that's not important enough can wait until it becomes so pressing that it will be done immediately... Forget lists!
I almost never comment, but I was just thinking about my day so far and I laughed hysterically at your to-do list. Today's overwhelming, there are not enough hours and one parent too few to finish a heritage fair project, find the glue gun, get hte project printed at teh copy place on good paper in colour without having to drag out a two year old and five week old but without having cash in order to send teenager on the errand. Buy broccoli. Go to butcher's 25 minutes away because it's the only place that sells organic meat and we don't have anything vegetarian handy. Take 2 year old shopping because she's desperate to have her own umbrella and will not stop talking about it. Seriously. when is this all supposed to happen?
I'm going to pour myself a cup of coffee, make myself a sandwich, and ponder this very carefully. And try to figure out why my apostrophe key doesn't work very well, making me sound like an idiot when I type.
my favorite form of cat-chastising involves the lint roller. cat seems to like it though.
Say, that shawl is coming along very nicely! I think I have some laceweight mohair... And, you're writing another book? Wonderful! I can't stand to throw away (I mean recycle) the pages from the calendar so they are stacking up on the desk.
My list? Finish grades for last course
Turn in grades for last course
Cheer! Open chardonnay when I get home.
Bottle feed the 4 lambs for 3rd time today
Insist that that is all the bottle feeding that will happen until tomorrow.
Actually, the bottle feeding comes before going home and opening the chardonnay
Go to the bathroom..... I cracked up!
My stars that's gorgeous!!!
All of those things will get done during your day anyway so yeah, add them. They're taking up time and you might as well get some extra joy out of making coffee and such by crossing them off the list.
I definitely put "make coffee" on my list when I have a long day ahead of me.
You rock!! I've been ignoring important things like eating and laundry to finish one of your books...you've literally had me in stitches (oh god forgive the pun) for the last twelve hours. Don't forget to add deep breathing to your do-able to-do list. It's something important we all take for granted. :)
I understand you, I'm planning to move up this week end and I'm already exausted. Have a nice day!
The first thing on any to-do list I make is "make to-do list" so that I immediately have something to cross off when I'm done. It's the little things that keep you going :)
Beautiful shawl, by the way!
Kathleen at 3:23, I liked your comment so well that I copied sentences 2 and 3 into Word and printed them out in large-size, bold font to hang on the wall over my computer...
You speak for a lot of us, sister. And that shawl is exquisite.
You forgot to add 'play Fish Tycoon'. Also? Add breathe.
Oh, I totally make lists like that. Eat. Watch specific TV show. Check email. Check Ravelry. I feel very productive. =)
Don't laugh but I frequently put a couple things on my to do list like "get dressed" and "take vitamins" just so I can have something to cross off. :)
I love that list! I am sitting on a never ending to do list at the office, maybe I should take a page from your book and add some easy obtaniable things on there. At least that way I can cross more off, well highlight in pretty colors off. :)Im so swamped I have had to work through lunch instead of taking that hour to knit :(
I have to wear pants with pockets so I can carry my list around with me, along with a teeny tiny pen so I can cross off stuff when it's done.
I love lists, but have found that a to-do list can really stress me out. I try to make my list for the week and I deliberately put things on the list that are easily crossed off - it keeps me motivated to put new things on the list. Gorgeous shawl by the way.
Instead of listening to the boring statistics part of lab meeting yesterday afternoon, I made a list of stuff to do before we leave for vacation on Saturday. It was only ~20 items long, included "make list," as well as a hefty list of knitting stuff to do before hand (pick projects, print patterns, wind yarn....).
What's been done since yesterday? Washed the car. Only 19 items left. The list isn't even complete, so I can't even cross that off.
Good luck on getting everything done!
PS-are you bringing the sweater?
I'm with Michelle. I will fly to Toronto to be of aid to you. I even have a passport! Or I will become a personal aide at Sock Summit (and I live in Portland!)
I recommend chastising the cat whilst drinking coffee.
My list would be as follows:
1. get out of bed at noon.
3. stalk the yarn harlot
4. blog about stalking the yarn harlot
5. phone friend about blog about stalking the yarn harlot.
9. watch Supernatural and Gray's Anatomy season finales while knitting
10. stalk the yarn harlot
My real list
1. whine about getting out of bed.
2. go to work
3. stalk the yarn harlot
4. blog about stalking the yarn harlot
5. cover the evidence that I am blogging from work
7. go home, tell the fighting kids to go to their rooms, make supper, yell at them to eat supper, bathe kids, read kids story, have them do their homework, send kids to bed.
8. send kids to bed again
9. get kids a drink/snack, send them to bed
10. stare at husband until he turns off the PS3.
11. manage to catch Gray's
12. off to bed without having finished Hey, Teach! yet for the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.
I guess I can come out of the closet now and admit that I, too, put things already finished on my to-do list just for the feeling of accomplishment when I cross them off!
You forgot "drink beer!" Or its close relative "Eat chocolate." That could give you a few more fun things to check off!
In my view, reducing expectations/standards for the list is very reasonable and makes everyone (me) feel much better.
Oh Steph! The shawl is looking great. You are definitely a winner! :)
No go look at more yarn.
My list ALWAYS includes "go to the bathroom," "eat", and other things I can actually accomplish. Definitely include those. Always!! That said, I've just come off of my first 2 week book signing/book talk/teaching trip and it is quite possibly the most exhausting thing I've done in a long time. More exhausting than when I taught school in the inner city. So, in my mind, it now makes sense to prepare and recover a lot for a book trip by taking it easy. I imagine the sock summit will happen in good order. That many organized sock knitters couldn't possibly have a bad time together...they are just too smart for that, right!? (of course, I'll be setting up my new house in Winnipeg about then, I hope, and likely that will be a complete disaster!!) It'll all be ok. Even without a finished shawl. Florida's hot this time of year.
You all need to be retired. List? What the heck is that? It's all done by rote or as the mood strikes! Coffee first thing/or not, slosh to the computer to read news headlines/or not, hold the cat - OK, that's a given, and then, and then, and then...............WHATEVER!
I have small children. If we're all present & accounted for at the end of the day, yay me!! I stopped writing to-do lists down a while ago. It's simply a reminder of how much isn't getting done.
Although, I do find it helps to do something, THEN write it on a list, THEN cross it off. Very satisfying.
I have a palm pilot organizer thingy, the thing that decided me on getting it was when my husband showed me a to-do list on his, and that when you check off the item it get crossed out AND THEN VANISHES FROM THE SCREEN. That, and the colour-coded calendar thingy, useful for my current life of part time work, full time grad school, full time herder of two cats & a messy apartment.
I have been known to make a list of stuff I've already done, just so I can cross them off thusly.
PS - the shawl is stunning.
I'm adding #4 to my list that will prevent an awful lot of headaches I've been having lately.
I like writing my list at the end of the day so I only put on it the things I already did.
I changed my lists a few years ago. Now I write at the end of the day all the things I actually DID accomplish. Makes me feel much better about myself, because, wow! I actually do get a lot done! I write an occasional sticky note to help remember things like picking up a prescription, but I don't forget to do any of those things that would have been on the To-Do list and I sure do feel better about me!
You know, I can knit and I can purl, but I can't do what you have with the lovely shawl. Awestruck.
My boss makes a list, then cuts it in half. Just a thought.
I call mine a running list--for a month at a time.
I make my list at the end of the day - not a "to do" but a "what I did do" list. It's exciting to add things rather than take things off a lists. And if I combine this with keeping expectations low, I'm always happy with what I've accomplished.
I had LITERALLY just correlated my three overlapping lists and managed to throw 2 of them out (at the cost of doubling the length of the remaining one) when I decided to reward myself by reading your blog .... slightly eerie feeling of deja vu there. Do you find that every time you DO manage to cross something off, you then remember another three things that you absolutely have to add??? Deeply depressing. But I think if I didn't make lists, I would forget most of what I'm meant to be doing, so I am probably stuck with them.
I always put thing that I do every day on my list, sprinkling them in with the things I hope to get done. That way I have things crossed out during the day like, "brush teeth", "check email", "nap on couch". Makes me feel accomplished. It's a good day when no one bleeds or starves.
OK, people, when the situation is desperate-REVERSE List-Making is called for!
1. You are allowed to put the absolute minimum number of items on list to keep all household members alive.
2. As you do ANY OTHER task during the day, go to your list and ADD it on--and then cross it off.
The great thing about this approach, besides the obvious benefit of having things to actually cross off, is that it lets you see where your time is really going--often showing that you are, in fact, getting lots done and not getting credit for it!
It still seems very ambitious to me, is your boss being mean again?
I'm leaving for vacation in 43(!) hours. My to-do list:
1. Finishing cleaning up files to send last book to graphic artist for layout.
2. Review revised design for first book.
3. Plant tomatoes (which includes bring the self-watering containers out of bathtub in the spare bedroom, putting them back together, adding soil, assembling the supports -- but all that was too depressing to list individually)
4. UPS packages to hotel (craft items for grandchildren that would have thrown me into fees for multiple, overweight suitcases).
5. Cook dog food (yes, I cook for my dogs; and that also includes stopping at the grocery store to buy the ingredients)
6. Pack up dog stuff (but I can't do that until I get home from work tomorrow because they need their stuff -- and having three dogs is way harder than having two!)
8. Pack (which includes making sure I have sock projects for each of the four kids who will be there so that one doesn't get jealous that I'm making a sock for the others; I'll have to work on an inch of each one at a time)
9. Clean aquarium filters and add water (dangerously low -- I think the fish would pack up and leave if they could walk. Or survive without air.)
10. Finish assembling card-making kits for us big girls to work on while we're there.
11. Pack another box to ship of all the stuff I forgot to add to the first box.
12. Prepare for big meeting at work tomorrow morning.
And what I have I accomplished today? Well, the first package was mailed. And half the design studio is cleaned up in preparation for the meeting. And 6 of 30 files are cleaned up and with the graphic artist. And that's it.
I need time to warp somehow so that I can actually get all this finished!
I love Christine(at May 13,5:01pm--do something --then add it to your list and immediately cross it off !! Genius! From now on this is how I write lists-a few token list items for show only then add/subtract in one fell swoop !!!
I swear that this is true. When I was a student I lived with a habitual list maker, I once caught sight of her list for the day. First item "get up", second item "get washed". She could teach you a thing or two about setting achievable targets.
I love this! When I was growing up, I used to make lists like that every day and my mom would think it was the funniest thing in the world. I am still a list maker, although usually they're just little reminders as my aging brain has become too dependent on the lists!
I put stuff on the list THAT I'VE ALREADY DONE so I can check it off immediately. Someone else might have mentioned this tactic already, but I also streamline my life by never listening to what anybody else says. Or apologizing for the repetition.
When all else fails, write the list in frosting on a brownie and then eat it.
That shawl is beautiful!
I often find that I feel the same way about lists when I am facing a long-term project, like Sock Summit. If I'm not careful, I will think "I've had Sock Summit on my list for months now! How pathetic am I being, that I'm not done organizing it yet!" In my case, it's a teaching program application that refuses to go away, and a quilt that's just too awkward to be worked on very much, especially since it went and got warm in California.
Instead, it's really helpful to break it down into digestible chunks: instead of "Sock Summit," maybe "Call X, Y and Z about Sock Summit issues," "Answer 10 emails about Sock Summit," or even "Complete random Sock Summit-related items for 3 hours today." "Allow 4 hours of time to accomplish what seems to be nothing, or produces more paperwork than I actually complete for the teaching application, by tracking down people and documents that I swear I've already tracked down" has become a normal way of spending an afternoon once a week for me. (I think that trying to organize these academic types is much like trying to herd cats, and just about as effective...)
Does the body a world of good. So does having "buffer" time for random things that may come up. I'll try to allow about 2 hours every evening for dinner & relaxing with my significant other - which is sometimes eaten up by spontaneous events that crop up.
The shawl is lovely, and I am sure your tour will go well! As long as you don't stress yourself out to the point of becoming a puddle of gelatinous goo in the meantime! (I don't think they allow liquids on planes anymore, unless you're properly sealed in a small container.)
Wait a minute -- you are lamenting not getting anything done, yet you have made that incredible shawl? You are not getting any sympathy from me, only admiration!
Also, this may be shallow of me, but I love making lists with pretty colors. I'm pretty unlikely to follow my lists exactly, especially when they include specific times.
If you don't need to physically write out the lists and cross them off, I definitely recommend the iCal app for Macs. I have pretty rainbow colored bubbles color-coded to the type of activity. And if, in the middle of the day, something random comes up - I can just shrink the bubble for one and increase the bubble for another. Or move a bubble from today to tomorrow, or to next week. And if I really need to, I can delete the bubble. ;-)
Then, at the end of the day, I could make a list of things that I ended up accomplishing.
Actually my daily to do list contains such epic battles such as get dressed, clean cat box, dinner, go to work. From these minor victories a sense of accomplishment accumulates. Hey everybody needs to cross something off the list.
I make lists, then lose them. I go to the store with a 3 day old shopping list in my purse. Doesn't help much to buy the same groceries over again. Miralda is lovely, really spectacular.
Amen to that sister...the shawl is totally awesome...
This is what I do and maybe it will work for you.
1. Go to office supply store and buy VERY pretty list length Post-it notes (the pretty ones make it harder to hate the list). Browse office supply store to your hearts content (if you are into that sort of thing).
2. Make list and leave spaces in between each item for add-ins (things you have accomplished that are not on “The List”. Add-ins are legal and encouraged!
3. FOCUS only do things that are on the list (to the best of your ability), and tell that stinking boss of yours that if it is not on the list it will have to wait for tomorrow!
4. Work your tail off until about 3 or 4 pm and then as soon as the clock strikes your PRE-determined quitting time, STOP you are done for the day, this helps to motivate you through the 8 to 4 period knowing that the evening is your time!
Good luck to you and please know that we all appreciate all of the hard work you are putting in so that we can have a Sock Summit (the coolest thing EVER!!)
Great tip from my mother-out-law: always put things you've already done on the list so you can have some ticked off things to inspire you.
But adding "chastise the cat" or "drink coffee" on their might have the same effect.
Whatever you do, don't tuck your to-do list in with your bra! Or do, if you want to take a welcome break from doing anything more taxing than undie-scavaging!
Your list sounds a bit like mine; however the real list is something like this:
1. Make To Do List
2. Ignore the To Do List
I have taken a new approach to the to do list. I do a done list. I have some different colored foiled stars I use. Every color is a different area of my life: seeing therapy patients, going to class, doing research, studying for my qualifying exams, and getting home/personal chores done. Every time, I do a task, I get a specific colored star. I put them in my planner, so I can see at a glance where I am spending most of my time (I tend to do more therapy work than research work) and I can see how much I am doing. There are days that I feel that I haven't accomplished anything, until I look at how many stars' worth of work I have done.
No offense, but you could have taken a picture of the sweater sans accoutrement, and it would not have looked bad. One of the benefits (or so I hear) of being a "perky" girl.
And that shawl is stunning.
Wait till your girls are teenagers no longer. Then you'll realize that you now know nothing about parenting young adults (although they've turned out pretty well, so far).
OMG! I think I'm where you are (minus the hectic schedule, that is). My teenage son thinks his antics are funny, meanwhile I'm one second away from apoplectic all the time!
I have a million things on the needles and I'm making no progress on ANYTHING I touch.
Think it's a Spring thing?
I love silverarrowknits idea! And what a beautiful shawl. And can you expand that last thought on Twitter? Some of the things you post on Twitter are really so tantalizing. :-) Good luck with it all!
I have a list, but I've hidden it so it doesn't make me feel bad.
The shawl may not be done, but it is fabulously beautiful.
Now that's an achievable list. Keep things realistic.
Chastise the cat? What a brilliant idea! That's going straight to the top of my to do list. Thanks for making me a winner, too!
one womans list is another womans IQ test. Number 6 is definately not related to the others. Number 10 is a puzzler though...
I enjoy you, you're funny.
Wearng T shirt for third day is so do-able, (especially if you haven't sweated much through the day.)
Just remember, life has improved since your breastfeeding days - wow, they were awful.
Remember there are always people is a worse position than you (Disturbingly true). Gee there are some good ideas here.
You should add "post funky weird picture to blog"-does that last lace photo look a little strange to anyone else?
ummm... who wears shawls?
That's a great list. Today I will try to survive some 2 trial classes -- one on gentle yoga & the other, bollywood dancing. Wish me luck!
1. nap when I wasn't supposed to (x)
2. ignore craptastic house (x)
3. feed children whatever I can think of (x)
4. skiv off my writing time reading the fabulous Harlot (x)
Yup... you're right! I feel better already!
I routinely put things on my list just to scratch them off. Productivity is overrated.
I think you should do what a friend of mine does. She said that she got sick of never doing anything on her to-do list, so now she makes a DONE list of everything she's already done. And while you're yelling at your cat--could you yell at mine too? He never listens to ME.
My son once told me something very important, and the very mature age of five- "Mama, hello! you are not SuperMom!" And I realized, God did not intend me to be. By the way, that shawl is beautiful!
Oh my gosh...I think that lace pattern in the body of your shawl is the same one I'm doing on a baby sweater. I was working on it the other day, and caught Knit and Crochet Today on PBS and they demonstrated it! I feel cool now.
I think my to-do lists are going to take on more the shape of yours for a while. I need to feel productive for once.
Steph, you rock! Your list is perfect, but can I suggest a better list for tomorrow?
1. Stop making this list!
Great idea, never thought to add obvious items to my to do list. Gonna give it a try.
Am hanging that next to the computer. In case I forget any of them.
Who cares if you don't make the entire list? As long as you do what you can and you're a great person, that's enough. As long as you can hold yourself together. :D
arrr you have "done" on your list. I love your boss!!!!
Amen, sister. Working on a similar list myself.
My grade 12 calculus teacher told us once (he was also that math team coach, we were geeks) that he made lists for things to do that started 1. make list, 2. brush teeth.
Sensible advice that I still follow! :)
I think I need a list like that too! But my list will have things on it like "ignore filthy kitchen sink" (dangit, just cleaned it), ignore spots on carpet, go for bike ride, take pictures of lilies, etc, etc.
Everybody needs a few little wins :-)
I love the little gathering pattern in that shawl. The one where a bunch of stitches shrink down and then pop back out again. Yummy!
Yes you are a winner!!!! I usually put down make the bed, comb my hair, and apply makeup so I feel better about the list.
Ooh I like this list much better. I have a book for you to read "Mediations for Women Who Do Too Much". It's a great book (even though it doesn't have a single word about knitting! Happy travels. I love the Estonian Lace. It's inspirational.
I knitted 'Miralda' a few months ago, and from my experience, you're in the fast part now. (It really goes when you're working that stitch.)
I am having the EXACT same problem, even when I give myself an entire week to get the list done. I put "take a shower" on my list yesterday so I could cross off at least ONE thing before the day was over... (But that was yesterday's achievement. Maybe today's could be "brush teeth"...)
So.. if I'm too lazy to make the coffee so that I don't drink the coffee.... =(
Tea is easier
Of course I did tackle Everest today. (laundry)
*sniff* that's a pretty shawl, but whatever happened to that pretty cowl that you tempted us with so long ago?
I love yesterday's sweater. I used Ecological Wool for my Must Have Cardi, and it's so sad that it's already too hot to wear in Michigan. I think taking it south may not work unless you crank the AC up in your hotel room. But it's so beautiful, it makes perfect sense. (Have a wonderful book tour).
Every time you post the Miralda lace, I so want to do nupps.
I do my list on my computer! I love moving a task to next week!
I love that the Saskatchewan Stitches conference has a bra-making workshop. If you took that, you could fix one of your problems. (I find crossing list items off with a big black marker is especially satisfying.)
What is it about list-makers? My Gran is one, and my mother, and then naturally me. The Lady My Mother managed to maintain some level of sanity, but Gran and I are like the mad bull chargers of list-makers. We put more stuff on there than TEN humans could do in a full twenty-four hours, even if they worked in shifts!
And then we feel vaguely guilty and "loser-ish" because we didn't finish everything on the list.
Do not show me pretty lace shawl patterns. I am trying to write my own for the next Big Project, and it is not going well. Many balls of paper all over the bedroom floor. (I can't touch them to pick them up - the Stupid and/or Icky and/or In What Reality Do THOSE Numbers Add Up?! might get on me, and I'd have to take another long hot shower to get them off and hello, Drought of California, how are you today?) Do not give me the ability to cop out yet again on the theory that there are already sooooooo many awesome patterns out there. My growth as a knitter depends on it!
(Of course I'm not serious. I can't wait to see that shawl finished. It's gorgeous!) (Unlike the pathetic ball of Personally Designed Ick I've torn out about fifty-seven times now...)
Several people have mentioned the "Done" list but --- I don't recall where I saw this online --- I call mine the "Ta Da!" list. At the end of the day, or if you can't remember at the end of the day, as you go through the day, write down everything you've accomplished. This is more laid back than a Time Diary, where you write down exactly what you are doing with your time to track how long "little things" actually take.
The hopeless feeling you get from looking at your "To Do" list and see everything that's not done needs to be counteracted by knowing you've accomplished a lot, even if it wasn't on the list. With the "Ta Da!" list in hand to fortify you, you can make a new "To Do" list each day, carrying forward the items not done from the last list, and adding new items as they occur to you. If you want to get crazy, you can get into "Getting Things Done" (GTD) which is a cult favorite organizing system.
My most helpful To Do list modifier is to place symbols next to list items, indicating WHERE it needs to be done (at home or out) and what kind of item it is, a Chore (which gets repeated ad nauseum, a la diaper changing, laundry, and yelling at teens) or a Task (a one-time event, like calling for a specialist to come separate head from wall.) Putting little phone doodles next to calls, and little clock doodles next to time-sensitive items (can only visit LYS during business hours, unless you are breaking and entering) is also a fun way to categorize list items.
Yes my To Do list has a key at the top, why do you ask?
I thought after Ene I could wait for Miralda, but if you keep showing such lovely progress pics, I may need to cast on for it soon.
Presbytera (near the top of comments) is one brilliant woman!
I really like what Emily and JoVE had to say about the art of list making and list makers.
I myself am a fan of the TADAH/done lists vs. the traditional "things to do" version.
Then I grin like a 3 year old when I get write out my list and shout....TADAH, There! I DID IT!!!
Hey Stephanie, quick Q for you. I am heading up to parksville/(and nanaimo) for a week (next wednesday). As hubby will be working for a bit of that time i was wondering if you could suggest a place or two fun to hang out on my own, yarn shop, etc... I would so love your input! thanks so much!
You had better put "take care of Stephanie" near the top of the list, or nothing else will get done. You notice I didn't say put it at the top of the list, just 'near' the top. Being a mom as long as I have, I realize the futility of putting it at the very top of the list.
Sending good thoughts your way!
I love that list! Sometimes I just forget the "to do" list and do a "it's done" list...I list things I actually did during the day. Usually I'm surprised at what I accomplished, even if it didn't match the "to-do's"
my list goes like this...
works for me!
I too seem to have a never ending list, and I'm not even planning the Sock Summit, (which definitely makes you the winner in the I'm Having A Manic Life by the way!) What happens to me is that I make a very reasonable list of things that I have to or want to get done. I try to make sure I can accomplish what's on the list on the same day. I even have my husband check it out to make sure that I'm not deluding myself and unrealistically biting off more than I can chew. Then some disaster or major/minor crisis happens and my list and I are blown out of the water!! My life has been like that since Christmas and shows absolutely no sign that summer will be any better. I'm trying to get dyeing done for a Sheep and Wool Show that's coming the end of May, and due to a long list of unforeseen catastrophes and health issues, I have no where near what I should have done. Sigh! I'm so far behind I can see my own butt in front of me! My sister-in-law is a chronic list maker and told me that sometimes you have to adjust and change your list because of the unexpected. The problem for me is that the unexpectedly lately happens far more often than the expected! Good luck on your mission. If you find a cure for this condition please let me know because I would really like a change of scenery!
I bet you there would be a lot of mental health counselors saying articles like yours could put them out of business. People do have to know when to not do so much... and not feel bad about it...
You are a high achiever, Steph, in case you didn't know. days that are spent not at 110% are necessary. Enjoy them.. but thanks for writing about it... a good lesson for us all.
This list thing can get out of hand, though, when there are scaps of paper on pinboard in kitchen (with added notes from teenager), pinboard in office (added doodles from teenager), 'inbox' in office, in my head...it's the sleeplessness in the night under pressure of lists you have to avoid. But I can see the benefits of saying YES I have achieved something in the never-ending run of things.
To FEEL better, just take a few moments to reassure yourself - and keep on knitting!
My lists include "things I have to do", "things I should do" and "things I want to do". As long as I accomplish something from each list; it's a good day!
That shawl is so breathtakingly beautiful, screw the rest of the list and finish it.
My mother and I appreciate the empowerment of crossing something, anything, off the list; at the grocery store, when we realize that we forgot to put something on the list, before we take it off the shelf we write it on the list right then, so we can cross it off!
My mother-in-law's method:
Write it down.
Cross it off.
Since when did we care about your bra? You never used to worry about that. Watch Charlie Dimmock and then throw your self-consciousness away!
On my current to do list I have 'Absolute final deadline for [thing I really needed to have got done about 2 months ago]. And guess what? It's a week overdue...
1. Lace is beautiful. Made me totally want to start a project from that book.
2. you could change your reasoning. "Not doing laundry because I don't want to run smaller loads and waste water." The 'good for the environment' excuse really works.
3. I'm currently using that excuse for why my car is not in the shop. It is not 'too lazy to call the mechanic' or ' too scared to see how much it will cost' it is instead "Walking is better for me and the environment. I don't really need that stinking car anyways."
I have the exact same problem. I make these lists to remember what I need to do, things don't get done, I get frustrated and guilty. I need a new list.
Shawl is beautiful so far!
Have a safe journey!
Have you ever put something on your to-do list that you've just completed, solely for the satisfaction of getting to cross it off?
Perhaps that's just me.
You posted a blog.
That's certainly enough for the likes of us.
See you in Vero.
but when all is said and done, that shawl pic takes my breath away! and there's something to be said for that.
Consider switching the order of the list.
Yep, life at times is putting one needle in front of the other. At least you are whittling away at the projects list. Own knitting seems currently on hold due to the rest of the list. Need to fix that....
In my family, if we do a job not on The List, we'll write it down just so we can then cross it off. It's very satisfying.
You should check out nowdothis.com for list making.
As someone who teaches people how to slow down and take wonderful care of themselves without feeling selfish, guilty or otherwise bad, I whole-heartedly applaud your list.
As a cat lover, I can relate to "chastise the cat." Go ahead. It never works, anyway, but sometimes it makes us feel better.
I find it much more rewarding to make my list at the end of the day......you will be amazed at your productivity, thus deserving tomorrow off!
Now, that's the kind of list I can live with!! Yep, I'm always making big lists too and fall short of 100% completion, but I'm happy if I get most of teh things done. My lists are really guidelines to keep me focused and memory keepers. I seem to worry less when I make lists.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a list of items including some very easy to accomplish tasks. I know when I get wrapped up in a project I forget to do some of the basic things (like get lunch or drink some water).
I add to my list of things to do as I do them because, let's face it, we all do a lot of things that never make it on the list to get crossed off. I start with my basic list and then if something comes up that's not list, on it goes and gets marked off right away. There's always more crossed off than not at the end of the day!
See, all you have to do when you're feeling blue is read the comments from your blog and know how many people are thinking good things of you - even when you're not! Chin up! Take a nap, take a breath, it's all good. You rock.
I always start off my to-do lists with "1. Make to-do list." That way as soon as I finish making the list, I can immediately cross off one of the items!
This is the second post of yours that made my husband say, "Are you sure you didn't write that?" (I looked up the first - 12/5/08.) He thinks we're cognitive twins. At least in this case, however, I just think you have described what is common to Woman.
I had a recurring grocery list when my children were in grade school. You would think I could have memorized it but still wrote it out every time I went shopping.
Now that they live on their own I only buy eggs. Makes the shopping much easier.
That's what those professional organizer types tell you--put at least a couple things on your list that are easy to accomplish so you DO feel like you're getting something done. Ignore the fact that they are tricking you. Maybe that's why I dislike to do lists. However, I really like packing lists.
I finally developed a rule for daily lists that has saved my sanity time and time again:
1. No daily list can be longer than three items.
2. At bedtime, rip up the list. Start over tomorrow.
It's surprisingly effective when it comes to getting the truly important stuff done!
Looking forward to June 6 and I can't stop looking at the beauty of that shawl! I'm taking my first jump into the lace knitting pool. Currently awaiting arrival of supplies; then I'll sit and stare at them for a while; and then I'll obsess...err...think (yeah that's it) and contemplate what I've got myself into before I actually start and go insane before the afternoon is done.
That shawl is truly beautiful. It would most definitely cancel out any unfinished list! Your fantastic knitting must supercede any dumb list you might come up with. Knit on and eliminate lists from your waking hours. Knitting is most important!
OMG, I *always* put knit on my list! I love that I can get at least one thing crossed off per day! (Of course, then it goes right back on the list the next day... hm.)
You must have more than one bra. Put the sweater on you will feel like a million bucks.
The shawl is LOVERLY.
Good luck with your to do list.
I just saw your tweet...congratulations on making great progress!
Your shawl is lovely. I hope that I am not asking a question that has been answered- what is the colour (number?) of the gray sweater?
The shawl.....WOW! Gorgeous! Worth all the work.
You could add these to your cross-off list:
look at flowers/trees blooming/leafing outside
step outside and breathe in the Spring air
if raining, look out and rejoice that it is not snow
Heh, kind of like when I pulled my 'garden the summer of 2009' plans that I made over the winter out and it has two (2-3 pages each) pieces stapled to it with 'things that MUST BE DONE THIS SUMMER' for 2008, 2007 and a scribble of 2006's lost projects on the bottom:)
I taught kindergarten one year and we planned for our struggling kiddos what we called a 'success day' - a day wherein we did projects specifically tailored to that struggling kiddo's abilities so he/she could feel like a rock star. After looking at my to do list, I declared, too, that I needed a 'success day' with loads of coffee and yarn petting sessions:)
Great to-do list. I want a similar one.
Care to join me in becoming a member of the Cult of Done?
I actually add things that I have already accomplished to my list just so I can cross them off. Ya gotta take it where you can get it when it comes to positive reinforcement.
To fivepointyneedles, 5/14, 11:13am:
Nope. Just one.
I love your list!! I gotta make one just like it ~ the idea of accomplishing everything on my list everyday is all good.
My favorite strategy with lists is to make a really ambitious one, check off two-thirds of it, and leave it lying around where DH is sure to see it. Very impressive, and only one husband in a hundred will check to see if the things have acutally been done.
OMG...I am such a loser. Sometimes I'll put things on a to-do list that I've already done just so I can cross something off. It...makes me feel better!
Also, that shawl is stunning! And I'm not even a big lace head! Those orderly diamonds are pleasing me in a most OCD way.
A good friend of mine once told me it's simply not acceptable to put more than three things on a list in a day. It kills the spirit to do otherwise!
Frankly, I like to put things on my list with individual steps written in, like:
4. fill dryer
I'm excellent at getting about halfway thru a task and then abandoning it for the day... as item #1 attests to.
On a similar vein, I hope you're taking care of yourself. Many of your posts these days seem very discouraged in one form or another. I don't mean to make you self consious of what you write here-I'm sure you already are enough. I just want you to know that I, and many other readers, I'm sure, worry about you!
A counselor once told a friend of mine that you should always put some easy things on lists, because otherwise, you get discouraged when nothing gets crossed off and then you don't make any more lists or try to do things.
That said, I think you are supremely organized -- you have to be, in my opinion, because you are capable of knitting lace!
Make list for current day.
Don't accomplish anything that day.
Make same list for the next day.
Don't accomplish anything that day, either.
Make same list for next day.
The good news is I've been able to make a new list every day and that is an accomplishment!
Kudos to me.
My mom keeps a "to-do" list. After going full tilt all day but not accomplishing anything on her list she writes down everything she actually did do and crosses it off. She says it gives her a great sense of satisfaction.
Thank you to all. I am having the worst week at work and everyone made me chuckle.
I'm going to put my to-do list on my white board so the $%^&* bosses from Europe can see what I do all day :)
Wait a minute, I have yarn in my bag. This day is looking up.
I think you've discovered the true secret of success. Why didn't I think of that?
I think that's a great idea! It's a great way to get a shot of that lovely little chemical we get in the brain when we cross things off lists. I always lose my to do lists throughout the day, and find them a month later, cursing myself because I never finished the last 2 items on the list. I've stopped writing things down altogether.
I love that shawl!
Right now it is 27 degrees C in Vero Beach Florida 81 F please take summer clothes! I think it would be safe to leave your coat at home. Have a great trip.
This lace is so beautiful. What classic beauty.
Still trying to comprehend getting up and not being able to find a bra.........
Hee, hee! I love your do-able list.
The most positive 'to-do' list is when you write it down after you have finished the dastardly task and then cross it off in bright shocking pink high-lighter.
You should always start a list with:
1) WRITE A LIST
That way you can cross off something immediately! It's a great feeling.
This is what my to do list looks like everyday lol
Love it :)
Miralda is stunningly beautiful.
I have lists like "shower" "brush teeth".
You should come visit us in Pacifica, California. 10 miles south of San Francisco, on the Pacific coast, where DH and I wear wool socks 12 months a year! Sandals? Are they those funny things that are a cross between bedroom slippers and shoes?
I checked out your site from the Blogger Awards and liked it. I voted for you. I hope you win.
Please check out my site nominated for the best blog design. http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/blogs/show/73022. I hope you will vote for me also.
layers will be a must in georgia as our weather is still a bit wonky-hate that i will have to miss your talk in woodstock-should be a totally different experience compared to your previous trips to atlanta--you'll be "in the country". hope you enjoy and that you are shown some southern hospitality.
I love the idea of a to-do list on which some things can actually be accomplished. In my household, though "Chastize the cat" has been transformed into "Be chastized *by* the cat." As you might guess, I am owned by a calico cat. Safe travels on your latest book tour!
what the hell is a list? Love the shawl, coming along beautifully!
Just curious. Are those Signature Needle Arts needles?
Holy heavens that shawl is PRETTY. I really like the way it's coming out.
And that's okay. I wear shirts a few days in a row, too. After all, I just go into school to get covered in dust. I have cover alls on. All my shirts I wear to school are black and basic, so who cares?
Damn Skippy - that's a winner's list if I ever saw one!
I have an ambivalent relationship with to do lists. I am now naming them "Today's Impossible List" as I am perfectly capable of writing a list which takes more than 2 months to complete. I know because I have found old ones, and the many of the items are still not done.
I have found my best defense is to have a second list, where I list what I DID do. That is satisfying. At the end of the day I can have a good laugh at myself regarding the difference - the plans of mice and men an' all 'at. I can also get a grip on what I do do with my day.
The upside of the previous list not getting done is you could take that lace on the plane (!?!) like you suggested (!!!). I would have a mare's nest if I tried that, but you may be able to carry it off.
Actually...why NOT make an easy list, just to feel better? :) Maybe it'll psyche you up to work on that other list when you realize you CAN get things done.
This is my list:
1)-Try to finish sorting mail and office work before my boss gets back from vacation.
2)- Accomplish almost nothing of what I wanted and needed to do.
3) Try not to cry.
4)- Wonder why sweater back remains at 16 inches long when I have knit AT LEAST two inches since I measured it last.
5)- Try not to cry again.
6)- Knit some more on the @#$%^ sweater back.
7) Try to remember tomorrow that birthdays are supposed to be happy days, and smile. Don't cry.
Stephanie, totally OT, but in case you are reading this, I wanted you to know that my 11 year-old daughter (whose favorite subject at school is Creative Writing, and who was recently voted "Most Likely to be a Best-Selling Author" by her fifth grade class) picked up my copy of "Free Range Knitter" yesterday, and, after apparently reading the first couple of chapters, asked me if she could read it. After doing a quick mental scan to confirm there wasn't anything inappropriate for an 11 year-old (there isn't, right?) I agreed. She read half of the book in one sitting. I love the fact that she recognized that your writing was something special. On behalf of myself *and* my daughter, thank you for your remarkable books.
Oh no. I *HAVE* to buy that book. I've been thinking about it, put it on my wishlist, but now I have to buy it.
Oh, and as for feeling accomplished, I spent 4 hours in a meeting today writing a PROCESS to write a PROCEDURE to have the secretaries date stamp incoming mail. Implementation is due December 1. After training.
Looking at all your beautiful knitting, I began to wonder if there is such a thing as an informal (of course it would be informal, it isn't like knitting is a competitive sport right?) "Master Knitter" designation. Something that one could aspire to, just out of trying to push ones abilties a little higher. Something like a self-imposed challenge? I was just wondering...ever think of such a thing?
Oh, Stephanie. You're supposed to write those lists at the END of the day, so you can put on all the things you did instead of the things you were planning to do.
I am just starting to explore the world of knitting after started this craft the day after Christmas of 2005. And am just recently to seek out the yarn stores around here. I like your book "The things I learned from knitting"? I think that's the books name. It's very interesting. And I just finished reading a book by Debbie McComber "the shop in Blossom street." very interesting book.
You should read the children's story "The List" from Frog and Toad Together (URL: http://books.google.com/books?id=67NP9PtpOpAC&dq=Frog+and+Toad+Together&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=OTezh-k0ou&sig=urQ33L-yqAJ4zTD2iV2_zUfrj5s&hl=en&ei=0tcQStHzL5zmsgPm7MjzAg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3#PPP1,M1). It is a great lesson on how lists can be imprisoning or freeing, depending on how you treat them.