To do lists: #1 make a list.

Who keeps “to do” lists?

I try really hard to be organized. I do! I have folders that are labeled for each topic I study, and I stuff them with related journal articles and papers and course material and stuff. I will put stuff away, clear off a nice space on my desk, and fifteen minutes later its taken over again by stacks of manuscripts and engineering tablets and coffee cups. I have organizational A.D.D., and I can’t seem to do anything about it (I’m sure the coffee isn’t helping).

Fellow engineers (and great friends) Marg and Jilly are list-people. They write it down, check it off, and subsequently feel a sense of accomplishment. It is a great habit to create, but for some reason, I just can’t seem get into the swing of it. I start lists sometimes, but often fail at remembering where I last set the list down.

So one of my goals-for-this-semester is to start making lists and checking things off so that I know what I’ve done, what I need to do, and what I’ll have to start thinking about doing. Since I have to have some accountability, I decided to write the list for the first week of the semester and display it right next to my computer.

So, here’s to hoping that I get all the stuff on the list done. This is test #1. If I pass, then I will continue to make a list every week and maybe even break it down day-by-day. It seems like a lot of work to write a list of things to do per day; just another thing to do every day! But, if it helps me stay on top of things and be more accountable, well… maybe its worth it.

It’s important to point out that the picture of my nephew, the coffee cups, the energy drinks, and the cutout from Bicycling Magazine have been providing motivation for work and otherwise over the past year. I also have a really bad habit of not taking returnable cans back to the store and leaving them to collect dust on my desk (or for the custodial staff). Michigan’s 10cent deposit and my incessant need to be supercharged on caffeine is robbing my graduate student stipend. Can you tell I have had three cups of coffee already today??

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About megankillian

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. I love biomechanics!

Posted on January 11, 2010, in In Training. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I have accumulated an immeasurable number of lists in the previous 3+ years, and even more before that.

    Whether or not it has been of any benefit is questionable, but I think that the real value is being able to think over what needs to be done. At least 50% of the time I’ll write a list and not refer back to it, remembering what needs to be done from having gone through the exercise of writing it.

    Either way, I think it should help!

  2. Kim’s Today List
    *pick-up snowshoes from Balnaced Bodies
    *call ski coach
    *visit chiropractor
    *try to heed chiro’s advice to take it easy
    *consider icing psoas muscle
    *cancel that list item
    *choose heat instead and take anti-immflamatory
    *grumble about my training schedule and how I want to stick with it.
    *plan a blueberry smoothies for breakfast–good for immflamation
    *take omega 3s with dinner
    (wink–how’s my list šŸ˜‰

  3. Is that a daily coffee mug hiding behind your list? šŸ™‚

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