Friday, June 1, 2012

Tips for working on very large to-do lists.

1.       Wait until very late at night to start.  Preferably until several moments before one in the morning—then you can tell yourself you are actually starting early.  The real reason to start at this time, however, is that your mental faculties vastly improve as it gets later and later.  Your desperate need for sleep has a direct relationship with your ability to complete high-level tasks. 

2.  Adopt a policy of not going to sleep until you accomplish what you set out to do that day.  This will allow you to take full advantage of your late-night alacrity.  (It will also give you an opportunity to completely misuse words you should know.)

2.      Re-arrange, consolidate, and re-organize your to-do list many times.  This is the best kind of procrastination—it is actually almost useful.  You can imagine how organizing your list might increase your efficiency when you do (in the distant future when you will be much more motivated) actually accomplish the items on the list. 

2.  While you are re-organizing your list, have as many fights with your word processor's auto-formatting as possible.  This will serve as a bonding experience in which you and your large, unfriendly to-do list are forced to exist on the same team.  If  together you and your list lose the battle against the auto-formatting, you may just end up making your list look shorter by having three number two's.  It's like wearing black for to-do lists.  Universally slimming and a total illusion. 

3.      At this stage, hand-picking elaborate fonts for your list and printing it out as a trial run might be a good idea.  You could also hire a calligrapher to copy it down for you if you want an old-world feel that even Black Adder cannot achieve.  Actually, you might not have to hire the calligrapher at all—they would probably accept a hardy meal as payment.  I imagine it’s a very competitive field these days…

4.      If starting at the top of your list looks too daunting, start at the bottom.  This is especially effective if A) you used a numbered list and B) you’re good at lying to yourself.  That way, you can scroll to the bottom of the document, start at the last item, and say to yourself, “Hey!  I’m already at task #1,483!  This list is just whizzing by!”  (Note:  While this technique could be used during the actual completion of said large to-do list, it is equally helpful if one finds the re-organization stage of the process harrowing.  See tip #2.)

5.  This is also an ideal time to hone your best life skills.  Such as:  emptying trash cans, coloring, staring at Facebook, eating cookies, doing sit-ups, and writing silly blog posts. 

Update:  The next post we post will be our 100th blog post!  There will be a bagpipe performance and cake for everyone.  


  1. This gave me a pretty good laugh. XD Although my normal day starts at 12 noon and ends around five am. Does that mean to get my "stay up late and work on a lack of sleep" status I have to stay up past dawn? Dang. Let me finagle some things.

    1. Haha yikes. That's some serious night-owling you've got going on.

  2. The best advice is in tip number two... I mean... the second tip number two.

    Additionally, if you start at the bottom of your to-do list and it has over one thousand things to-do, then it's time to do this:

    1. Haha, agreed. Though thankfully, that was a huge exaggeration. :)

  3. Yes, I never start until late at night. Like tonight (10 pm) I SHOULD be packing for my trip and cleaning my house BUT I'm here, reading your blog. ;)