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October review

Ugh, again. The old items section of the list? Untouched except for "play more Torchlight". The few new items I had added were almost all fun activities—well, I guess the KEXP volunteer stuff technically isn't just fun, it's work—and those are the only ones I really took care of, and almost half of those new items dropped off the list due to the car crash. 

Now, I was pretty busy for the first half of October with the KEXP Fall Membership Drive, first volunteering during the final five days plus a clean-up data-entry shift the following Monday, and then doing my paid contract work auditing the data entry. And then a car came out of nowhere and crashed into me on the highway—which, as I mentioned, was decidedly not on the list of things to do this month—which definitely made it difficult to do a lot of things in the second half of the month. 

Still, damnit, so many of the items on the list have been there since I started keeping the list in July, and much of them really were already months old at that point. Clearly simply keeping the list isn't much help for getting things done. Hey, what was one of the items on my list to do? Read Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play? Hrm… As I just wrote about "the problem with nothing," it's easy for me to get stuck in a rut of doing nothing, very actively avoiding any of the important work I need to do while feeling worse and worse about such behavior, and feeling resentful even about the easy steps I know I could take to start doing something. And so even a book I bought specifically to help me with this bad behavior remains unread. Writing down a list of things I need to do, as has been recommended to me by a few people, hasn't changed my behavior much.

One thing I haven't tried, that I forgot John P had recommended to me back when I wrote about inertia over a year ago, is starting with just one small, easily attainable goal for the month, and adding new ones one at a time. As John cautioned, trying to do more than one or picking something too big is more likely to result in failure, you have to work up to bigger things. The thing is, when I first started keeping the list, I deliberately tossed onto it any kind of task, big or small, that I could think of, precisely because I knew that would give me some small, easily attainable goals that I could quickly cross off. I thought that would help boost my confidence and help me tackle more of them, as I was crossing things off. I guess maybe I screwed up in August by basically doubling the length of the list, instead of just sticking with the items I already had and making sure to cross some more of them off. So the bulk of the old items have remained unchanged since the August list (though half of them first appeared that month). 

So now I have something of a dilemma. I think what I want to do is just carry over the remaining items from the October list to November and not add anything new to it, just focus on knocking more of them off. But I know I have some new tasks that I need to get done, so they ought to go on the list too. I think I'm going to cull the list a bit and remove a few items that I know just aren't going to be done or don't need to be done any time in particular, so maybe that will make room for a few new items. 

As for adding fun items to the list, the uncertainty about my injuries makes that complicated. I won't know until I go see the orthopedic team on Wednesday how long I'm staying with the leg brace and crutches. I'm hoping that somehow, since it was supposedly a "slight" fracture, that the knee will already be healed enough that I'll be able to do away with them, but I'm expecting that probably I'll have to stay with them at least another couple weeks if not longer. Staying in the brace wouldn't prevent me from going out to concerts, but does make that more difficult and cumbersome, and potentially more tiring as well. I haven't actually looked at the concert calendars yet, so I only know of one show at the end of the month that I'm interested in. I do have the next TRUST dance night at Chop Suey on my calendar, which is in three weeks, but I have no idea whether I'll be able to dance at that point. In any case, I think this month I can dispense with putting such things on the list; I don't like the feeling that all I've been accomplishing are the easy fun things, and I want to be sure the list—and my mind—is focused more on the tasks I actually need to do.

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The List: June 2011

List of tasks or activities I need or want to do this month.

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