It is Monday morning and I’ve just pulled together my lists. The first is a task list for this week, written in four different colors of neon ink on a blackboard. There is a book club on Tuesday, this blog plus another to write, some revisions on a project in process, and the rehabilitation walking and swimming for an injured knee. I love the colors of the pens and I like feeling like there is a way to handle all the tasks coming my way.
There is also a task list for the day. I keep tablets of colored, lined Post-It notes for the daily lists. Today’s is orange. I highlighted “blog for WU” in pink. I am also to walk the dog, read aloud some of the work I’m doing, and make notes. Also, make a list of things left to be done on this particular project before I can send it to a reader. After some thought, this one goes to the top.
Before I went out to walk (list position #2), I spent twenty minutes on the Task List for the Book, breaking it into three sub-lists (checking it off the main list). This morning, after walking Jack 1.3 miles (check), I broke the Task List into steps for the week, Monday through Friday, and printed it out. (check)
Obsessive-Compulsive you say? Perhaps. If I look to my right I see a list about the marketing plan for How To Bake a Perfect Life taped to the hutch on my desk so I don’t forget (I see that I have missed a deadline on it, already—“flesh out the plan and schedule by Sept. 15,” highlighted in pink). On my left is a grid of things that my assistant needs for me to do, and on a small dry erase board propped up against the wall is a list of healthy living goals.
No wonder, I think, looking at all of this, that I feel crazed sometimes! But the truth is, I have a classic artistic personality, heavy on the right brain, far less on the left. It’s the same quality that made my family tease me about being a flake, when in fact, I am very intelligent and capable. The right brain leaning makes me appear to be ditzy when I’ve had to spend too much time talking or being out in the world; it makes me scattered when am overwhelmed. (Both ditzy and scattered are wont to appear at conferences.) Maybe some of you are familiar with some of these feelings and reactions. [Read more…]