Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Big List

And so

If we're going to devise a list of things to try this year, the best place to start is with the list the started it all, courtesy of Because I Said I Would.

Like I said in my last post, my own list is going to undergo some changes as time goes on. It's going to be one of those organic, "living" documents, which is to say that we'll replace the stability and integrity of such a document for flexibility. In short, the list as it exists right now is a pretty good example of the kind of task management that I'm trying to improve upon. See? It's not disorganized--it's a metaphor.

However, I will make a guarantee: once something is added to the list, it stays on the list. To paraphrase DalĂ­, just because I don't know what my list will be, it doesn't mean I can't start doing it.

I'm going to start with Alex Sheen's list. I've blanked out items that don't apply to me ("Put registration stickers on the kayak" would first require a kayak, which seems excessive), and added some comments next to the ones about which I'm either on the fence or am going to modify (additions in italics).

So here we go: The List v1.0: 

  1. Donate my clothes that I don’t wear anymore.
  2. Clean out the laundry tool room.
  3. Give blood. 
  4. Learn how to tie 5 new types of knots.
  5. Start a physical photo album with 100 of my favorite photos.
  6. Update my top 10 online accounts with more secure passwords.
  7. Start another poker game night.
  8. Walk the furthest distance I’ve ever traveled on foot.
  9. Buy a veteran a gift to show appreciation for their service.
  10. Plant a tree.
  11. Learn how to say “thank you” in 20 languages
  12. Create a last will and testament.
Hmm... really thought there would be more there when I started looking at the list. Lots of empty space in there, but I've got some ideas for filling them in:

  1. Learn how to program a Raspberry Pi
  2. Deep-fry in a Dutch oven
  3. Clean every item of clothing in the house
  4. Hack a kitchen device
  5. Stop using hot keys
  6. Have no more than five Chrome tabs open at a time
  7. Cook everything from an episode of "Good Eats" from which I have cooked nothing
  8. Organize all of the books in the house
These are official additions to The List, and putting them all together has made me think of another rule that we need to include:

Rule #6: Any card which requires significant lead time will be delayed a week and a new card drawn. For example: if you're not familiar with Raspberry Pi, it's a new kind of tiny computer developed by researchers at Cambridge to allow younger students the ability to tinker with and hobby around with computers in a way that we haven't been able to in the past 15 years or so. Of course, to really learn how to program one, I'm going to want to order it, which will significantly cut into the time for learning about the thing. So if I draw that  card on a Friday, I will make whatever arrangements/orders I need in order to get what I need for the following week, and then draw another card for something to do right away.

Whereas most of these are single-item types of tasks, you'll also note that I have a few items that go on throughout the entire week (so far, both relating to my computer habits). These are going to be continuous tasks--from midnight Friday to midnight the following Friday. These weeks my posts will mostly revolve around managing my withdrawal symptoms, and wondering Cumberbatch-like "Dear God. What is it like in your funny little brains? It must be so boring."

Also not included here: groups of tasks to be done together. I'll need some time to properly break them down.

Of course, we don't start the main list for a few weeks--we've still got the few starting items I'm going to initially focus on, which I'll get to tomorrow. And, of course, I'm open to challenging suggestions from any readers. In any event, wow it's time for some Walking Dead. 

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