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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Making lists

Okay, so I could be queen of the procrastinators. No, you might think you have me beat; but it's really my one true talent. Sure I knit, I play piano, I blah blah blah.... but I can really procrastinate like nobody's business. I've actually tried to commit a little afternoon time once a week to blogging just to get stuff out of my head. Of course, it always falls in the last half of the week in the last half of my day!

So I've always heard to make lists.

"If you cross stuff off your list it's very satisfying."

"If you put everything on your list you can get a feel for how easy it is to tic things off."

That's all crap! If I make a list I can procrastinate doing any actual work. Making lists at work is just too damned depressing. My job is one where my inbox is never empty, my plate always has something on it and that's just hard to swallow in hard print. Look, I'll admit here (I'd never admit it to someone in meatspace) that I've even had utilities shut off because I procrastinate paying the bill and forgot about it.

Which, btw, is very different from when I lived in Iowa and worked a bunch of part-time jobs and sometimes had to choose what bill to pay and.... well.... sometimes I didn't have enough to pay even the most dire bills. 

If you're ever in that situation, my advice is pay the water bill. Not because water is essential to life - hell, I always could get water to drink at work - but because the water man comes to your house and shuts it off and then has to come back to your house to turn it on. See, the phone and electric were shut off not at the house. Well, not right away. They did some kind of soft shut off a few days before they came to the house. I didn't have a cell phone or cable back then, so I have no idea how that last one works.

Anyway, my point is I'm not a list maker but I am a master screwer-upper of important tasks.  I'm also a lover of technology. So I downloaded a calendar app for my android called pure calendar and also there is pure grid. These put a calendar on my home page with little bars of color showing what event is on what day. I think someone said HTC phones have this type of calendar already. But, BUT, that's not the cool app. I also downloaded Astrid, which is a task manager. Saying it always reminds me of Asterix, which is some kind of French comic book hero - but the little icon that represents the app looks like the warm fuzzies that the nuns handed out in high school. I used to have one somewhere, but it was a line drawing of a happy furry little guy that looked like a ghost from Pac-man.

So, Astrid has really helped me get my shit together. Seriously. Which is good, since I'm buying a house! So, I can put the due dates for all my bills in this little app, and tell it to repeat every month and on that day - or earlier if I set an alarm - it pops up and reminds me to do it. I can have it appear on my calendar or I can put a widget on my home page so that I can see what's coming up.

I just learned a neat new trick too! I can make lists. So, I made a list of all the things I need to get done before moving or just after moving into the house.

Now, I don't have a due date on most things yet. But as they get closer I can go back and set a date. Like I did with contacting my insurance agent.

Instead of letting it auto-order things, I did some click and drag and put things in the order I'll probably need to complete them. It lets the procrastinator in me breathe a little bit since there isn't a hard and fast date.

It's not fancy; but it's at least kept me on time with bills. Oh, in case you are wondering why I don't just set up bills for autopay.... It's a leftover from my days of not having any money. It's not that I can't pay bills these days - but I spent enough time having to only pay what I could that I don't like to autopay things. It's not a paranoid "then they know all my info" conspiracy crackpot thing like it is with some folks (not that there's anything wrong with that) its just a leftover bad habit.

Kind of like rubbing the sating edge of the blanket when I need to go to sleep... it's something that I probably should get past but as long as I'm aware of it, it doesn't hurt anything

Yeah, the folks who made PureCalendar, PureGrid and Astrid didn't pay me, didn't give me jackshit and don't really give a rats ass who I am - but if you need to get better organized like I did.... it's a little less painful than a paperlist.

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