Home > cultural commentary, humor > The law of lists

The law of lists

I was passing the time earlier today discussing list-making. You remember Parkinson’s Law, the one that says work expands to meet the time available? Or the Freelancer’s Law that says the first 90% of a job takes 90% of the available time and the remaining 10% takes the other 90% of the time? I’d like to propose a law that says on any given list you will only ever manage to do half of it in the time allotted.

My own list for today was:
– mark student essay. Done, but two more arrived in my inbox.
– write next chunk of distance learning module. Done some, ‘chunk’ is a variable quantity! I’ve probably done enough to get one study guide finished by the end of the weekend and that’s a good thing.
– write next segment of story. Yes, at last count all of 86 words! My target was 1000.
– revise rest of rejected story to make it urban and gritty. Pushed on a few hundred words with it, deleted a scene I thought wasn’t needed. So some progress.
– mentally plan a piece of flash fiction I might do quickly tomorrow for a magazine deadline. Only just remembered I was going to do this!
– go and collect friend’s washing (see my last blog entry and this will make sense!) and see if I can get him a doctor’s appointment. He didn’t want me to do either but at least he’s made his own arrangements (whether he keeps them or not is another question).
– buy more birdfood for the garden. Done. Also more potting compost.
– buy a couple of bits of food shopping in passing, No. Forgot.
– cook dinner. Didn’t get back home in time, fortunately V had done it already.
– watch two TV programmes that caught my eye in the listings. Managed that one!
– invoice for some distance learning work I finished a few days ago. Nope.
Also not on list, because I forgot to put it on – do the last part of some distance learning admin work. Tomorrow.
On the plus side, also bought new pillows (am finally fed up with having a pillow with about as much support as a piece of paper) and got a spare fuel cap key cut for the van.

So it goes. None of it’s rocket science or horrible stuff I don’t want to do, it’s just I could happily manage if I had about 28 hours in a day and 9 days in a week. The realistic approach is probably to write the list and decide it’s for two days, not one…

The default for tomorrow is the stuff not done today, plus making a phone call to make sure washing and doctor’s appointments actually happened, plus throwing student essays back in the post. Apart from that a bunch of stuff I ordered from Amazon arrived, so I just need to find time to read it…

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