Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dear (brown Executive) Diary

Yesterday I didn't end up doing much of what was on my list. I watched 'Born Into Brothels' and that was about it. The day had a list of its own. I spent much of the late morning into afternoon at my friend's house, as her father had died. After, when I came home, I had intentions of going into Port-of-Spain to drop off some DVDs and then go to Alice Yard to lime, but I started feeling drowsy, so didn't bother ... and was in bed by eight.

Today the intention is (was?) to go to a new drumming class in Sangre Grande, being taught by the stickfighters I drummed with some nights ago. But now that I am awake, I'm wondering if I will ...

Yesterday's list made me realise that my daily life has become a series of lists! I have a list for every day which more or less determines what the day will be. I have a brown diary (Executive's Weekly Minder 2007) into which I write appointments, meetings, events, deadlines, etc. as soon as they come up: (a) so I don't forget and (b) so they don't clash and overlap. Some days are chock full, some have one thing written on them ... and increasingly fewer days are empty. Every day I write down the lists on paper and walk around with the paper, crossing things off as I go along ... otherwise I forget or get side-tracked.

This feels so un-me. When did my life suddenly become a series of lists?

These lists are not full of things I necessarily want or love to do, but things I "have" to do or "should" do (I don't like using the word 'should', but I will use it here) in order to get things done. It all comes with some degree of 'responsibility' and a sense of 'organisation'.

I don't see myself as an "Executive" ... so why do I have an "Executive Minder"? It's one of those diaries people give away around Christmas because they have accumulated too many for the upcoming year. What is the symbolic relevance of organising my day-to-day life in a brown book that's "not me" and which someone gave away because they had too many and didn't need or want it?

I will make my own.

What would life be without that brown office diary and those lists-of-things-to-do? Would I remember anything that I 'have' to do? Most likely I wouldn't. So much is going on now and within the next two months. I would miss 'important' meetings and deadlines. Are they really that important??? Would there be chaos and disorganisation? I don't think so ... and definitely life would change. Daily priorities will shift. I would wake up and have a blank slate in front of me.

What would I do?

(To be continued ...)

This week's Sunday Scribblings is "Dear Diary".



Blogger Stacy said...

I highly recommend the blank slate. Some of my best days start off this way and I often pledge to myself to schedule more of these days! Good luck.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

This was a good read... thanks! Organization is something my wife does very well, thankfully, and I must work at... and I do for the things that mean something to me. I make lists, lose lists -- make new lists... tape them to my computer, the kitchen door, the dashboard of my car -- and still manage to lose them, and make new ones. My entire life revolves around my struggle to be organized -- and with age and experience, I have found a way. An Executive Diary wouldn't last a week in my life. Where it would go would be a "great mystery" --a term my wife and I use very often.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

I am organised in a disorganized way. I can't plan anything in advance but I have a knack of doing it the right

1:22 PM  
Blogger e_journeys said...

All the "to do" lists don't look quite so daunting when they're mixed in with drawings, streams-of-consciousness, and all the "right-brain" stuff that also flits through my head and makes it down into my journal...

2:32 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I'm a list maker and very forgetful. A clean slate would freak me out.

4:49 PM  
Blogger Bongga Mom said...

Great post. I too sometimes feel like my schedule is running my life. My own "organizer" is basically on Yahoo Calendar, which sends me email reminders for everything -- but once in a rare while I go for a day or two without checking it (sometimes by choice, sometimes not), and it does help me relax and enjoy the here-and-now more.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

I go through phases. There are times when I need to do lists to keep me focussed. Other times when I just want to be free.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Olsum said...

Me too, very forgetful about deadlines and priorities. I would make a list and blends it in with work listed from emails but ended up going to wrong places for meetings.

3:33 AM  
Blogger Fledgling Poet said...

I am incredibly distractable, so I must use lists...couldn't function without them. I would forget way too many things. I have learned this time and time again when I've forgotten to add something to my list -- it never gets done! Until it is written down on that piece of paper, it simply doesn't stick in my brain...

4:07 PM  
Blogger Saoirse Redgrave said...

Aren't lists dreadful? I don't like them, but feel I've developed a strange comfort from having them. I'm glad I'm not the only one longing for less things I "have to" do and time for more things I love to do...

Take care and keep writing and drumming and trying to have time for even more enjoyable things!


8:32 PM  

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