Monday, July 28, 2008


# 1- The Problem Exposed

I have lived by the list at the left for most of my life. It has gotten me this far somehow. Everything I do seems to be aimed at making it through another day with limbs intact, brain intact, and spirit intact. I am not always successful. Even this simple list is hard for me to keep sometimes. Other variables, but more often than not, my scattered brain tends to make even these simple rules more complex than they need to be.

I have made a decision. That even old dogs or wannabe old dogs like me can learn new tricks. Up to this point in my life, being the loose dog with too many things in the air at once needs some adjustment. I have attempted in the past to rectify what I see as too much time in neutral while I decide which fire to put out. I will now make another attempt. I'm primed. I am in need. And well, I would like to surprise and awe some of the people I interact with on a day to day basis. My wife being number one on that list.

I admire my wife. She has the ability to organize her time and efforts so that maximum production is achieved out of maximum effort. A kind of highly tuned, supercharged, turbo equipped mentality that starts the day hot and ends the same way. Me, well, I am like an old Mack Truck with 175HP Thermodyne diesel motor that struggles up every hill and screams down the other side. I'm the truck truck lanes were meant for. Sometimes I cannot get out of my own way. My brain is always freighted.

My efforts will be aimed at tweaking my almost perfect personality(ahem) by bringing everything that is me into harmony with the kharmic interludes of character and soul and other New (now old news) Age type touchy feely, we are all bozos on this bus mentalities. My Ying will no longer play second fiddle to my Yang. To do this I must first cast aside my hitherto free range methods of task completion and seek some alternative and more rigid procedures so as to bring Mike back down to Earth on a more regular basis. Once I have properly secured myself into this dimension, I can finally move forward.

A Step in the Right Direction?

Making Lists and sticking to them.

Okay now what? I have made lists before and I always seem to forget them as my day progresses and I end up dealing with the squeaky wheels as they pop up. The pre-emptive advantage a list would have if followed is incalculable. The satisfaction (having felt the pleasure of it once) of checking off something as soon as it is complete has to be better than or equal to, uh , okay it probably is not equal to. But striking through a to do list from start to finish has to feel good. As good as anything you can do by yourself can feel I guess.

So here is my first list after realizing all the previous ones were just practice, I was just kidding lists.

Wait a minute. I need to organize how, what type, and how often I list things. Chronologically or by importance and relevance? Daily or weekly/ Or Both with one being a sublist of the weekly list? I must first organize my concerns and wants as to what will be deemed worthy of my list. So I guess I need to make a Pre-List. And list those concerns and desires that will ultimately make up the Main List that runs my life from here on out. The importance of getting the Main List right puts more pressure on what and how I handle the pressures of the Pre-List.

Wow. Now there are two lists to compose before I can even think of checking anything off of either. This getting my shit together thing is some complicated and intimidating. Yet I know I must try. Too many loose ends pop up and I am frankly tired of having nothing but loose ends to straighten out. Although anyone looking for a good loose end guy, I am the man.

The know it all and the share it all experts of the World Wide Web will certainly be some brains to pick. Even if I don't follow the free advice, maybe some insights of the List Gurus will jog me into creating something that works for me. So the first thing on my Pre-List is to do some research and see what the great Google says. In the meantime, I will continue to:


El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Although anyone looking for a good loose end guy, I am the man.

And if you ever need a day off, I can fill in for you. I, too, live and shall eventually die surrounded by loose ends.

Dawn Fortune said...

Holy shit, man. From looking at this post, I am convinced you could complicate (and possibly confuse) a glass of water. Why not keep on keepin' on? It's worked pretty good so far and while it is not what works for others, it seems to be what works for you. You don't strike me as the kind of guy who could easily wear a leash and a collar, and thats what lists are: they keep us in the yard of what we are supposed to do.

Apertome said...

It sounds like you need to make a list of lists you need to make.

I am very scatterbrained, too, and indecisive. My whole family suffers from indecisiveness, in fact, my fiancee's favorite example of this being when I asked them, "Should we decide now, or later?"

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Sounds to me your getting a handle on things. I would recommend getting your work done, and free up your time to approach and do your lists with undivided attention. The first thing on your pre-list----anythign that distracts from making lists should be attended to first. Don't forget to, the importance of assigning the correct amount of time for each item on the list---and should a list not be completed on a given day, the items left on it should be reexamained to see if tghey are still list worthy.

Gary (aka old dude)

J said...

I'm not convinced you are a list person. Some of us are, and some are not. I am a list person. But if it just adds more stress to your day, why add to it?

Having said that, I would say, try it for two weeks. If it has made your life any easier, keep it up. If not, give it up.

If I make a list, and I only do that when I have several things that need to be done and I don't want to forget, want to stay focused. I list them in order of importance. Unless I'm making a schedule, in which case, I make them in chronological order.

But I prefer the list in order of importance. If I'm under a lot of stress, deadlines and so on, I might make a list at the end of the day, for what needs to get done the next day. Then in the morning, I come in and revise it, because either something else has come in, or being away from my work has given me the time to think things through a bit.

Am I scaring you?

BBC said...

4: Drink some Prozac in the evening for having to deal with all this shit.

My choice of Prozac is Natural Light.

Water? Sure, I like water and drink a lot of it. Hell, anything that is good enough for all the water critters to fuck in is good enough for me.

And bottled water is so bland.