A different kind of to-do list

to do list
Kid’s to-do list. Photo by Carissa Rogers 

What does your to-do list look like?

You may be like I used to be, never needing to create a to-do list.  I had a memory the size of an elephant and energy to do my mental to-do list and more.  But the combined effects of ageing and chronic stress meant I needed to write to-do lists.

They looked a little like this:

  • Print politics worksheet
  • Prepare news quiz l/t
  • Talk to JR about his behaviour in DT yesterday
  • Input CAT1 results
  • Mark 12 mark questions in free
  • Update feedback list from Wed briefing
  • Order card sort with CSAs
  • Photocopy order  – abnormality booklets
  • Upload last week’s ppts onto the intranet
  • email absentees with work
  • put notice on door – room change p. 4
  • Dept. meeting pm
  • Email Ms G about the book list
  • Phone Mr R re JR
  • Prepare what to say to Mr D to keep it 15 mins not an hour or more
  • Collect parcel from reception
  • Phone home – change of plans
  • Receipt to business office
  • Check budget
  • Update the merit list – order certificates
  • Book prefect to organise form vote
  • Book netbooks thurs p.1
  • …. another page or two of activities not unlike the above
  • Set the alarm for 5 am

The last one was because I still had last week’s to-do list to do.  The ideal and actual versions of the to-do list never had much resemblance.  It made me feel inadequate.  I’d be such a good teacher if only….  My job was always a process of compromise and priority.  If I had included all those extra tasks, would they have made more of a difference?  Probably not, and even if I had completed them, I’d have dreamed up an even longer to-do list to try live up to the school’s ideal of ‘beyond outstanding’.

For three weeks my diary has had no lists. My rate of activity seems to be within my memory capacity.  Perhaps it will even improve now that it is free of the clutter of to-do lists yet to do.

But there’s some interesting happenings out there and I don’t want to miss the opportunity.  My to-do list looks a little more like this:

  • Sunday 16th August, 10:30 – 8.5 mile guided walk, bring packed lunch
  • Mon/Wed/Fri: 10 am workdays at Horton Community Farm
  • Thursday August 27th, 10 am – Ecotherapy group, bring milk cartons and plastic bottles.

And if the list gets longer, it means my life is getting more interesting.

That’s beyond outstanding!

What does your to-do list look like?  Feel fee to share and link to your blog.


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