Monday, March 2, 2015

Post-it Monday
Photo credit: Ali Inay
This week is winter break, one of the teaser weeks during the semester where I can temporarily set aside class prep and tackle all the other things on my list -- both the "must do" items and the "want to do items." As this week approached, I found myself doing what I always do when I have a break coming up -- creating a superhuman list of things I want to get done.

This time, though, I did it a little differently. I pulled a page off the oversized Post-it calendar that's been sitting neglected in a corner of my office and pressed it into service. Undated and twelve inches by eighteen inches, the page has a column for each day of the week. Each column is just wide enough for a 2 x 2 Post-it Note and just long enough for five of these to fit without overlapping.

Mine looks a little different, but you get the idea.
As break approached, and all the ambitious ideas began popping into my head, I set a pack of Post-it
Notes and a Sharpie marker on my desk. Every time I thought of something I wanted to do over break, I jotted the idea on a Post-it Note, and stuck it onto the calendar page, in no particular order.
I was not at all surprised when I overran the "neutral" column to the left of the labeled columns and began filling Monday's column.

By last Saturday, I had fifteen 2 x 2 sticky notes. Time to kick the plan into action.

What plan? Each day, I'll choose the sticky notes I want to tackle. By choosing tasks each morning instead of assigning them to specific days ahead of time, I get to choose the things I'm most motivated to do each day (this is supposed to be a break after all!) and increase the likelihood that they actually get done.

Saturday was a good day. Productive and a validation of my plan.

Yesterday, I woke to snow and the threat of worsening road conditions in an unspecified time frame. Concern over getting to and from church safely lay over me like an ice-covered cloak, and it stuck with me all day. I was tired and grouchy and didn't even look at the Post-it Notes, let alone select any. Instead, I puttered, napped and read a book. A novel. For fun. (I added that sticky note to the calendar today. Reading for fun should be on every vacation wish list).

So far, the plan is helping me to keep a clear head -- for the most part, anyway. It's definitely preferable to trying to remember everything and far superior to creating one, depressingly long to-do list that lingers long after break is over. There's something about a brightly colored Post-it Note that lowers the intimidation factor.

Today is blocked off for blogs and revisions -- a whole day to do the writing tasks that get short shrift during the semester. And this afternoon, I plan to crack open that novel again. Right after I rewrite the  previously posted blog I managed to delete last night.

But that's another story.

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