Andrea's column: Check. And double-checkWhen I worked in sales, I never went home from work without first writing down what I needed to do the next day.
By: Andrea Langworthy, Rosemount Town Pages
When I worked in sales, I never went home from work without first writing down what I needed to do the next day. The list included names of customers to follow up with, prospects to whom I should send a “thank you for stopping in” card, anyone who would be picking up their new car. When I finished, I placed the legal pad of reminders under my telephone so I would see it right away in the morning.
My office days are over but I still make out a list of what to do the next day —
phone calls to make, bills to pay, chores to do, stories to write. I work from home now and one hour just melts into the next one. The day is often done before I know it so my list usually has a reminder to brush my teeth, do my hair, put on moisturizing cream and eat lunch.
Instead of a bright yellow lined pad, I write on various sizes of note cards, white paper napkins, envelopes; anything within reach. I leave them lying on the dining room table, piled atop the nightstand, stuck in books, or scattered across my desk.
My system has gotten so unorganized that I was embarrassed by the answer given by my friend when I asked her if she makes lists. She told me she “lives by her lists.”
“I just can’t keep all that information stored,” she said. “It drives me crazy if I have to go back for something at the store.” Her procedure is to make lists on scratch paper and stack the pieces on the kitchen counter.
The neat little pile even includes reminders of birthdays because she never wants to have a friend’s special day sneak up on her. “Nobody wants a card the day after,” she told me with surety.
My friend also itemizes things she wants to remember to tell people or questions she wants to ask them. She reminded me of the call she made last week asking if I was still watching one of the new shows on television. She remembered to do so because it had been on a list. Right on the kitchen counter where she couldn’t miss it.
When I worked outside my home, my lists were all in one place, too. Page after page were written on a pad of paper that was held together at the top by a binding. Now, my method is helter-skelter and I never check off anything that’s been accomplished — something my friend says gives her “great satisfaction.” I know the feeling: It’s what I used to do when my livelihood depended on it.
Well, now, I have decided my sanity depends on it. Today, I am going to write down only two things that need to be accomplished tomorrow. Number one: Buy a legal pad of paper. Number two: Get organized. Oh, and number three: Mail a birthday card to a friend who probably would have appreciated it more on his special day than two days late.