Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The List

On our home computer, we have a Microsoft Word document that opens every time we boot up. I purposefully saved the file into startup for just that reason. As soon as we turn on the computer, before we get sidetracked by Facebook and forums and other peoples' wonderful blogs -- we see our farm "to do" list.

The List has morphed some over time, but here is what I like best about it: nothing ever falls off the list. Originally it was a simple reminder list of some things that needed doing. To that we sporadically added some almost wish-list types of things that need to be done, but are bigger and need more money. Fifteen items, then 20, then more... but early on, I set the list standard by deciding to never remove items from the list. When we accomplish a listed task, we simply use the strikethrough font to show it as done.

Why is this important? Because work on a farm is never done. And sometimes you can get very overwhelmed with the feeling of "so much to do!" that you forget to step back for a moment and see how far you have come, and how much really has been accomplished.

After awhile, the list was a random jumble of strike-through lines and non-striked, so I began making the "to do" ones in red font, and the completed, striked-through in black. This helped us see at a glance what the possibilities were for the day.

The List has big projects and small ones. Ones that will take minutes and ones that will take months. "Mulching the potato patch" to "building a new lean-to shed".

Currently, there is around 170 items on the list - only about 30 or so are in red. This makes me feel good. I can look at not only what lies ahead, and the potential, but also how far we've come.


Marci said...

What a great idea. How do you make it pop up though? We need to do this. :)

Tracy said...

You have to save the file in C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Start Menu\Programs\Startup (this is for a Windows XP machine - if you have Vista or Win 7, I would have to see if that path is the same). I don't normally like things to be in startup (where they open automatically on boot) because it does slow down the loading process, but this file is small enough it doesn't make much of a difference.

Marci said...

I am going to try it. Thanks. I do have Vista.