Long live the list! (The list is dead)

Wed 2/20/2008

Well, sorry if I'm letting anyone down, but I'm throwing in the towel a week early with THE LIST. I've got some serious deadlines coming up, and I'm afraid there won't be time for all the extra stuff I have been trying to cram into every day....

Overall, it went pretty well! I found that The List worked best when I had whole days to determine my own schedule. You know: wake up, stretch my back (check!), bike (check!) to the coffee shop, get a cup of tea (check!) and script Basewood (check!) for an hour, then bike home, work on Basewood inking (check!), prep for teaching (check!) etc. etc. (check!) etc.

But on other days, when I had specific places I had to be, it sort of broke down. Or you know, like the day BEFORE my 7am class, I always had to spend a lot of time prepping for the class, grading papers and whatnot. And on days like that, I'd get to midnight, and I'd have only checked off 10 things (out of 24). So I'd spend an hour wandering around the apartment cleaning (check!) or work on the cardboard chair for a bit (check!) in an attempt to up my score for that day before going to bed.

It was kind of surprising (or depressing?) how many times I would get to the end of the day and "Talk to someone OTHER than Gabe" was not yet checked off... Good thing I know so many people on the West coast! It's nice to call your friends out of the blue and see how they are doing.

Anyways, I told myself that for something to count, I had to work on it for a minimum of 10 minutes. And while I know that doesn't sound like much, that's kind of the POINT. For YEARS I have neglected my cardboard chair project because it just seems too daunting. Even if I worked on it for a WHOLE DAY I would not finish it, so how was I supposed to make time for it? But 10 minutes a day doesn't seem so bad. And it's enough time to complete one layer of cardboard. So slowly, I made some progress.

I got a lot done in these past three weeks! I inked two "hard" pages of Basewood, built dougchayka.com for my illustrator friend/teacher Doug, finished all the endpapers and layout work for Phase 7 #013, converted a bunch of pages of the French translation of The Dvorak Zine, wrote 15 letters, read my neglected stack of comics from SPX, scripted a bunch of pages of Basewood Chapter 5 and al kinds of other stuff.

So how did it all brake down specifically? Well, take a look at the chart... It doesn't seem like there is enough data here to represent 21 days, but there it is. It's funny how SO MUCH STRESS can be boiled down into a little red line. So the y axis contains the 24 items. I never fell below 16 items, and my average was 20 which I think is pretty darn good. (Those vertical lines indicate where the Mondays fell, which are my hardest day of the week - 5am reveille!)

Overall, I'd say the experiment was a success. I accomplished a lot and ended up learning a bit more about myself, and my habits, which can never be a bad thing. It WAS stressful a lot of the time, but I feel like my life is always going to be like that (or at least for the foreseeable future). So I'd rather be stressed out about finding time to play my guitar than just a GENERAL feeling of stress.

So yeah, I think The List is a really powerful tool/technique and I'm sure I will employ it again at some point when I have a lot of miscellaneous projects that are weighing me down. And I'm hoping that even without the pressure of a physical list to check off, some of the activities I've been doing (like riding my bike every day!) will carry over into my "normal" life.

Alright... these next ten days are going to be seriously crazy. Here goes nothing!

1 comment on this entry

It was a valiant effort, little soldier! I commend you!

Liz Feb21

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