Beach Walk 652 – To Do List Discipline

It’s a Monday update on my learning to manage all of my To Do’s.

After a few weeks, I have some very stale items still on the board. Some of them are understandably longer term items, like house remodel tasks. I am working on moving them out of the way, so their place on the board makes sense. But then there are other personal items that I am just plain avoiding! The board is really helping me see how I favor client work over all else in my life. I also realize how much discipline it takes to do the list items first and foremost.

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Hawaiian word:
Aɘo ikaika: discipline

Be in Touch!


  1. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    @Rox – hmmm, the resistance and resulting irritant of your personal tasks column being seen, but remaining undone, day after day after day…somewhat reminiscent of a junior higher vs. the new and improved surrogate (wipeboard) parent having stoic reminders to stare at you? The junior higher in me rather enjoyed that surprise wave just canceling out the “today” box completely!! Time for a massage and yoga…hope those fun things are being added, as well!

    All this has actually been most helpful. Thanks for continuing on with this line of thought and clarifying how it is working/not working for you. I have already tweaked what I do and it has improved things already. Mahalo!

  2. I like the “board” idea and will attempt to make it part of the routine…….maybe it will help with my procrastination problem…good to have you back and I like the improvements…the episode also was very clear and the sound very good…have fun in South Carolina…….I’m off to NYC and a Yankee game on Thursday

  3. @Susan – your analogy is apropos. I see the board as being a good reminder for me of what I think of as consciousness aka the parent energy. When I get my monkey mind out of the way, the distractions and little lures out of the way. And even now also planning the board itself gets the benefit of my learning process

    @Bob – Have fun in NYC and this board both reflects and helps deal with my procrastination. Some of what I am learning is that certain things apparently are not all that important to me though they sometimes feel otherwise.

  4. Thanks for sharing how you’re doing with this. I was doing something similar except I have a long list I try and look at only once a day instead I was taking 3-5 items depending on how long I thought that each would take and adding them either to an easy to look at “notepad” in my mac dashboard or to a dry erase board.

    If I get done with things really quickly I’ll look at the long list again and add a few more things if it’s reasonable (if I only worked 1 hour when I thought it would take 10 I still need to get stuff done instead of taking the rest of the day off.)

    I like having the long list hidden and only focusing on it a few times a day instead of it “staring me down” all of the time.

    The problem I’m having recently though is the emergencies that keep coming up that practically are negating my efforts. The to dos on my board usually deal with a few clients whereas these emergencies always seem to effect more people and/or have more immediate and severe repercussions if I don’t deal with them in the here and now.

    This has been especially problematic in the last 3 weeks. As soon as I seem to have things back under control and it looks like I can take care of the original priorities something else seems to come up. Some of the things that come up are so crazy that I feel like my clients now just think I’m making up excuses especially since it’s been one thing after another.

    I feel like I’m letting them down as well as letting myself down because I start out the day with the intention of taking care of those set number of things day after day after day. I’m starting to feel stressed and panicky which makes me less productive (something I’ve already learned about myself.) I need to get over it … relax … surely this emergency streak won’t last forever!

    It’s like having to choose between the truck coming at me that had plenty of room to get back to his side of the road and destroying the passenger mirror on the vehicle I borrowed from my parents because the truck wasn’t actually going back to their side. This happened a few weeks ago. I lost the mirror to a trash can which was the better choice but I still felt like crap about it AND had to explain it to someone other than just being ok with it myself. If it weren’t for the 2 hour drive and needing to picking them up from the airport in another city in that vehicle I would have gotten the mirror replaced without mentioning it but it didn’t work out that way.

    Actually that pretty well sums my last 3 weeks up…. trying to pick the lesser of two evils and still having to explain it to someone and having them be upset.

    Sorry I have gone on so long here. Maybe my tip about the “hidden” long list will help someone. Seeing things day after day may help some people overcome something or develop themselves, for others it may simply be distracting from that to do today list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. @Hilary – thank you for letting us into your world. I can very much relate to the unplanned items that get dropped in out of nowhere. I am learning to sort them – “what things are not really urgent and can get added to my list?” More and more, as I build my muscle around “scheduling” with clients instead of seeing how fast I can respond.

    If something comes in urgent, I do it and then add it to the board, so I can have the pleasure of seeing it, counting it, and then deleting it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I am also learning to put fewer things on for “today” knowing to reserve a block for the “unexpected.” I have to monitor that though, and not let things sneak in there without earning their way onto my list for today.

  6. I never updated you guys on my white board organization progress. So far, I love it! I took @shane’s advice and went to Costco. BTW, thank you Shane, I ended up spending $500 on all kinds of impulse buys when all I went there for was a $20 white board. haha I’m so glad the nearest Costco is an hour away! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Anyway – I bought two giant white boards (one was not enough for all my lists). It only took me a few minutes to fill both boards. I felt an instant sense of relief. It’s like my mind was suddenly free from it’s clutter! A great feeling!
    I’ve been using it for 2 weeks now and I actually look forward to picking & choosing things to go into my “Today’s List.” Some of the things I dread having to do, but if I ignore them it stays up on the board and stares at me constantly. I try to get those things out of the way as soon as possible! I hate when they stare at me. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I also love that when my husband starts blurting out lists of things for me to do, I point to the whiteboard. “Write it down because I am no longer your walking filofax!” ๐Ÿ™‚ I try not to store too much in my brain anymore. It makes for a less stressful day!
    Thanks again for all your tips.