I learned from my Dad on my first job the value of to-do-lists. Learned the habit so well that I wrote lists for homework due, for chores at home and even for errands that only took five minutes to run. There’s something very satisfying in checking off items finished, like that check mark is a confirmation of productivity or a pat on the back with a ‘good job.’
When I went to work at a bike shop in Gunnison, I wasn’t the only employee who wrote lists. To the boss’ chagrin, we’d spend a good half hour in the morning writing up a list for the day. I’m not entirely sure why he didn’t stop us. Perhaps it was because it kept us all on the same page and helped keep us on target. If something wasn’t checked off, we weren’t done for the day or if closing rolled around and a task wasn’t done, well at least it wouldn’t be forgotten tomorrow, we had a list to remind us.
Inevitably, however, our lists always contained random, no brainer tasks such as drink coffee, pick on Larry or look at shiny things that, due to a misspelling, turned into look at shinny things. These things always got checked off as done each day, usually with a rueful grin or a mock serious air of ‘ha! I’ve done something today!’ The boss somehow always allowed the silliness and even sometimes added to it. I do believe his own handwriting would instruct us to eat cookies from time to time.
In hindsight, I learned one very important value from this. Allow, even schedule in, time to enjoy life, to sit back and laugh or enjoy that cup of coffee. Thanks boss, for allowing the silliness. My list at the moment tells me to drink coffee. Check.