Maker projects and to-do lists

I fall in and out of love with to-do lists. I have a simple approach: make a list of everything you want to do, and do everything on the list. When the item is done, take it off the list. My lists are simple lists I type in a text editor and save somewhere online so I can reference them anywhere.

About three years ago, I started using to-do lists for work. In the past I just took notes and would star/highlight “action items” (blargh, work-speak) so I would have some notes for reference and put into context the item that needed to be done. My notes were long, and felt like a wasteful use of paper.  So I started using electronic to-do lists for work as a simplified way to keep track of everything that needed to get done, and that is when I started hating them.

My work to-do lists never shrank. They always got longer as new items got added faster than the old ones came off. As a result, I started to do the easiest items first to keep the list length in check and as a result, the bigger items piled up. So I tried to modify my simple list strategy, and occasionally organize the list in terms of priority. Then I had to start noting the date the item was put on the list so really old things would get done and not sit on the list forever. Eventually I stopped using a text editor and used a spreadsheet instead to track all sorts of things, and that is when I took a step back, realized what I had become, slapped myself and scrapped it all, going back to just taking notes.

I have a to-do list for Maker projects I’d like to accomplish. It is starting to grow faster than I can take things off. This worries me. I don’t want my hobby to start to feel like work, I want it to be fun.

I really need to stop typing and spend more time in the workshop.

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