Saturday, September 17, 2011
Sometime midweek tasks were landing on my desk (and in my inbox and tossed onto the kitchen counter and...) at such a rate that I couldn't even manage to jot them on my to-do list. I felt like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene from Fantasia, the pails — uh, tasks — multiplying with abandon.
I scribbled reminders on post-its, ran through mental lists of emails I had to answer as I dashed up the stairs from meetings to teach class and reminded people to remind me later (just in case). Half-forgotten tasks lurk around mental corners and jump out at me at the least provocation. (Write check for choral uniforms ambushed me even as I sat here on the sofa nominally relaxing.) I keep looking over my mental shoulder — sure there's something major I've forgotten to do stalking me. (So far so good, but now that I mention it, am I supposed to cantor this weekend?)
As I was flipping through a magazine (which promised a month of stress-free dinners, if only people in my house would eat pork loin with sauteed cauliflower and capers), one piece of advice caught my eye: write an "ignore list."
I wonder if what I need more than a to-do list is a not-to-do list. What can I let go of before I even pick it up? or spend mental space and energy on coralling?