To-Do or Not To-Do…

National Blog Posting Month – January 2014 – Pressure

Prompt – Do you have a tendency to procrastinate, or do you like checking things off your to-do list?

——

This prompt made me giggle. I mean, if I didn’t procrastinate, then I wouldn’t have anything to do.

Seriously, I procrastinate. I suppose I’m really no worse than anyone else, but I do procrastinate.

I used to be that I’d mostly put things off because I didn’t want to do them. They were hard or anxiety-provoking. This does still happen, even today. I mean, I’ll put off cleaning the ash tube in the elemental analyzer for as long as humanly possible. Alas, these days, things most often get put off because I just don’t have time and they haven’t worked their way to the top of the to-do list yet, or worse, things get put off because I forgot to put them on the to-do list.

I juggle so many things these days, between adult problems of home-ownership and parenting, and work problems of laboratory management and teaching, that if I didn’t have a to-do list, I’d be lost.

Some times, the to-do list gets very unwieldy, with twenty items to be accomplished in a single day. That’s when I prioritize and hope for the best. Other times (like right now), there’s only one or two items per day on the list. But they’re big items that require hours of work.

Fortunately, I don’t often find myself in a spot where I have several big items at once. It has happened, of course. I have at least one week like that per year, but most of the time, I am able to knock things off my list and meet all the necessary deadlines.

In case you’re curious, the to-do list I use is a web-based one called Todoist. It has a web interface, phone apps, and stand-alone desktop apps, too. I like it because it allows me to categorize things and set deadlines. I actually paid the extra money to get the pro version, so that I could use commenting, too.

Oddly, one thing about Todoist that I like is these karma points it keeps. As long as you use it and meet all your deadlines, karma adds up. If you miss too many deadlines, or fail to finish tasks, you lose karma. When they first added the feature, I figured I’d hate it. Now it keeps me on task. After all, I don’t want to lose any points.

So back to the original prompt, my answer is yes and yes. I do procrastinate, and I do love checking things off the to-do list.

How about you?

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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