Tu do bem

Tudo bem tudo bom tudo bem tudo bom.

Catchy, isn’t it? Sort of like a rhythmic intro to a classical music piece? In fact, it’s Portuguese for “All is well (bem) or all is good (bom).”  It’s also how I title many of my tu-do lists, as if to say ‘ this is gonna get done, and it’s going to get done WELL.’ (My bad grammar only extends as far as the word ‘gonna.’ ‘Get done GOOD’ is beyond my artistic license.)

Last year when I still had Michael, my ADD coach, helped me make a bunch of different kinds of lists and charts, all broken down in different ways and to different degrees.  A few months ago I decided to go back to one of these models. Problem is, once you have a list on paper, you’re going to have things crossed off and you’re going to eventually run out of space, which means basically rewriting your list every day or every week. That idea doesn’t work so well for me because I feel like, over time, some important things (and many less-important things) fall by the wayside and don’t get copied onto the new list. So I hunted down a suitable whiteboard and I went to work on my list of things to do well.  Here is a picture of it as of this morning:

2015-02-09 11.14.31

I need to rework the four quadrants, I think but as of now they are:

1. Dragons to Slay– My apologies to dragon sympathizers, but I got this expression from Michael and it made a whole lot of sense to me. It’s the thing you MUST get finished before anything else gets done, sometimes because its’ time sensitive, and sometimes because you have decided to prioritize this one task today because it has been languishing for too long in another quadrant and waiting for it’s day in the sun. You must get through these things above and before any other distractions.

For the record, the first item on the list is done-da-done-done done. I have been keeping it up there until I could get a picture of it. I will now indulge myself in the satisfaction of erasing it.  Aaaaahh sweet relief!

2. Time’s A-Wastin’ – In theory, these are the things that I will move to the dragon box when the dragon items are done.  I realize now that not everything I have written in this box really belongs here. Some of the things maybe should be in a box marked ‘some day’– but who ever looks in their some day box, and if they do, who ever intentionally accomplishes anything in the some day box. The Some Day is the box you have before you get a bucket for your bucket list. You don’t write ‘learn Russian’ in your bucket list bc if it’s a list of things to do before you die, then it’s kind of useless waste of time if you’re planning on being six feet under sometime soon.  The bucket list is about experiences. In the some day box are things you would like to do in order to improve your life, but your life is too cluttered to make room for them right now.

Which is why I don’t have a some day box.

The bottom two boxes I literally hardly even see. They are hidden behind the monitor of my laptop.  I need to do some rearranging in my office.  In other words, these might as well be the some day box.  On the other hand, looking at the items, I see that some of them got done, ironically, as distractions.

3. Follow up is for things where I got the ball rolling and am waiting for someone to roll it back. Don’t you hate when you set things in motion, wipe your hands of the task, and then the ball gets rolled back to you covered in grass and slobber that you need to wipe up before sending it back out in to the world again? I find this to be a problem with insurance companies. Maybe because once you finally settle on a policy, someone else calls to tell you that it’s not good enough. Sometimes we do a task that requires a ‘part B’ but then we forget about that part. That’s what the follow-up box is for. A gentle poke.

4. The last box doesn’t have a title any more. I don’t remember if i called it anything and then it got erased or if I just never called it anything at all. it’s the junk drawer of the tu do bem list.  Things I want to do but don’t have to. Things that you kind of want to accomplish before the inevitable happens and the entire internet crashes. Things like printing my previous blogs so that my precious thoughts and memories are present in the physical world and making photo albums from the pictures stored on my computer.

I think I need to make a list for space-sensitive items. Things that I have to go out of my way for and plan ahead for. Passports, a drive to the distributor to pick up new parts for my food processor, getting my lawn mower fixed. So far these items are in three different directions from my house. However, there is usually some other kind of task– regular or occasional–  I can take care of at the same time that also requires a trip outside of my immediate radius.

I realized early on that there was a missing element to this form of list keeping, which is that you don’t get a sense of accomplishment by being able to see all of the different items that actually got crossed off the list.  Also, I had no sense of how long something had been on the list.

I corrected the second problem by adding a date to the end of the end of a task.  I solved the first problem by taking periodic pictures of the board– or at least planning on taking periodic pictures of the board in the same way as I plan on taking periodic pictures of my shopping list so that I can refer to my phone when I’m in the store.  Yes, technology can work but you have to actually use it.  Another way to maintain a feeling of success is to use a bulletin board and just pin up tasks in various quadrants. When a task is done I can keep it in a box or in another ‘success’ board, if I really want to have a visual reminder of my accomplishments.

The different colours are thus far meaningless.  I happen to have a bunch of dry erase markers here from some past project or another.  However, I think that, once I have my picture of the chart, I will be able to erase it all and redo it neatly once in a while. I will start to use the colours more wisely- like put the tasks with a deadline in red, for instance.

So far, it’s been working out ok. The board is right in front of my face so I’m forced to look at it once in a while, and sometimes when I am faced


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