Our Rural Roots

My Did List

(Jennifer Campbell)

My husband is a habitual list maker. He lives for lists.

We have piles upon piles, drawers upon drawers, notebook upon notebook of his lists.

On the other hand, I don't mesh well with a to-do list. Instead, I have found comfort and solace in my "did list."

What is a did list? It's something I write at the end of the day when I feel I haven't accomplished anything productive. It's perfect when the perpetual "to-do list" running through my head is longer at the end of the day than when the day started.

I learned a long time ago in my employment position that a carefully crafted and engineered document of to-dos became something akin to toilet paper within 15 minutes of writing it. So, instead of feeling like I've accomplished nothing at the end of the day, I turned the narrative around and reframed my thinking.

I tend to spend most of my time putting out other people's fires while mine burn out of control. Case in point: I'm writing this article while moving corn from the big bins to the load-out bin for truckers. This "fire" was never on my list, because there is no planning for other people's spontaneous combustions.

Looking at a long list and not having the satisfaction of checking anything does make one question time-management skills. I know mine aren't the greatest, but the feeling of no check marks at the end of the day is deflating, especially when I can't even blame it on a good, long nap on the porch swing.

Most days my did list comes easy. Such as today, when I wore clean jeans, did not run my truck out of gas and only lost my temper once.

And, when I can't remember what I did, I still sleep sound knowing my list simply reads, "I survived."


Jennifer (Jent) Campbell writes from an Indiana family farm where her "did list" includes a blog called Farm Wife Feeds (farmwifefeeds.com). Follow her on Twitter @plowwife and on the podcast @girlstalkag


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