I am a notorious To-Doer. They start off well-meaning and they sure feel like getting organized, but invariably they start to grow beyond doability. That’s partly because I don’t want to forget anything, and mostly because my life is a series of iceberg tips.

It could be a simple one-line entry, like “April Art Show” and “London Trip” …  each of with have about 30 things that need to-doing.

And let’s not forget that everything takes longer than expected. “Clean bathroom” really means fixing that leaking toilet before mopping the floor … and “walk the dogs” translates to “sniff every tree in the neighborhood.”

Then there’s this low-level ADHD/OCD combo that has me cycling through tasks before the attention sways.

That’s often why my life look like Nothing-Nothing-Nothing-Everything! I suddenly look so prolific after months and months of busyness.

So, I utilize a bunch of tools and techniques to help keep me on track.

One of the most effective techniques I use came from Steve Covey (“7 Habits of Highly Effective People”). I loved his calendar system before Franklin bought it (and basically ruined it, in my opinion). What I loved most was how it focused on ROLES, rather than TASKS. I am an “Employee”, a “Father” and an “Artist”. Each of those roles have tasks that suit the role, with very little overlap. Since I have specific times of day for each, this is very easy to switch hats and focus on doing WHO I AM, rather than WHAT I DO.

This leads to separate lists, and I’m OK with that.

For the lists I’ll often use paper (I know, so old fashioned) or Notepad on my computer. They’re really helpful for Brain Dumps. Just whatever comes to mind, write it down. Sort it later.

It’s also a great exercise in figuring out what ‘s important, since the most pressing ones usually surface first.

Then it’s off to Excel. I’m a big fan of Excel (yes, very nerdy, and proud of it!). It helps me to sort everything, set priorities, and create separate tabs for the details. Then the Artist kicks in and color codes everything (It turns into a work of art if I do say so myself).

For the London trip, I’m also using Word A LOT. I’ve created an itinerary and printed out a binder with a tab per day and all the related email confirmations, QR codes and maps.

And before you remind me what century we’re in, yes, I have all of these on my phone, along with all the appropriate apps, in a folder on my phone. I’m just not going to let a dead battery ruin my plans.

So that’s it for now. I can check this update off my list.

If you’ll excuse me, the dryer just buzzed.


Thank you for seeing me to the final-final homestretch. I’m still offering products and portraits to those who want to come along on this journey. Donate here: or Venmo @StuRosenArt. Every bit helps.

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