Reboot: Making Lists

listsI’m sure you’ve heard the age-old advice that if you want to get organized, set goals, and get tasks completed then you should make a list. The reason why you’ve probably heard it over and over is because, as Sam Kinison once said, “IT WORRRRRKS!!!” Although … Sam was talking about something completely different.

If you’re thinking, “Nothing new here, Jeff. Why the hell are you even writing about this crap?” Well, it’s such a simple solution that we tend to forget about it altogether. And can use a reminder every now and then. So the first topic in my Reboot series is about making lists.

About a month ago, I was stressed out. The stress was not from work, domestic duties, or a relationship. It was from having so many creative obligations and tasks to do and not having a plan to getting it all done.

For one thing, I’m working on several creative projects in various stages, and for some of them, I have multiple roles. I’m co-producing the original musical Thornetta, which I co-wrote the stage play for (and still have revisions to make.) I’m also the web developer for this project. Meanwhile, I’m building the publishing company Dreamer Publications, completing the final revision on my novel, Such a Dreamer, and working on my crime noir serial, The Awakening of Kenny Black. I’m also in the very early planning stages for a potential documentary.

Each project needed my attention in one way or another. Some were very specific needs and others were bigger, broader tasks. Anyway, I’ve had all this noise spinning around my brain, which is why I became quite stressed and overwhelmed. This was probably going on for quite some time–maybe even before the holidays–but it all culminated about a month ago.

One morning it dawned on me that I needed to get all this shit outta my head. So I wrote down as much as I could think of onto a page in a small notebook. Now, my style of making lists may be a little different than your typical numbered or bullet-pointed list that is neatly written down a lined page. No, mine looks like this:

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I know, not pretty. And my handwriting is atrocious. But, for me, it’s quite effective. Since I’ve written it all down, I’ve stopped worrying about the details and starting attacking the items by order of importance or urgency. During the past few weeks, I’ve completed almost everything (evident by the scratch-outs and X’s) on the list.

For me, making this list was truly the first step I needed in order to start my creative reboot! Hopefully, this post will help to inspire you to become more organized and reach your goals too!

Until next time!

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6 Responses to Reboot: Making Lists

  1. Tracie says:

    I live by lists! The first thing I do every morning is update my personal to do list and my work to do list on my computer. Though I’m sure my crazy Type A tendencies don’t surprise you 😉

    Good luck on all of your projects!

  2. Wummer says:

    I’m like Tracie! Every morning I look at my list, update my list, add and delete from it! It’s the only way “things” get done!! And, I do prioritize them on the sheet! 🙂 Good luck honey, it is a good start!!!!!

  3. NL Quatrano says:

    LOL – entertaining as always and right on! My “lists” are a bit unconventional as well, but if I don’t have them, my brain also resembles a squirrel’s nut-gathering festival! I can’t get the mind to rest so I can sleep, unless I’ve set up my TO DO plan for the following day. Now, like a manuscript outline, I don’t always follow it, but if I don’t do this, I’m up all night chasing ideas, “oh-no’s”, what if’s – you get the idea. Bravo – and I know all of your projects will be outstanding. Of course, I’m still learning about developing realistic deadlines – not necessarly reasonable, but realistic. Good luck, my friend.

    • Jeff Swesky says:

      Thank you, Nancy! I love you brain/squirrel metaphor. Hilarious! LOL I agree about the outlining. And like my lists, my outlines are not very traditional… actually they look an awful lot like my todo lists! 🙂 Thanks for the feedback.

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