birdwatchersdigest.com • MAY/JUNE ’ 17 • BIRD WATCHER’S DIGEST
Itaught a class on daily planning. It was called The Daily Planning Class, because it had to be called something. It was a time-management class,
meant to help people accomplish
more. Each student received a
daily planner at the beginning of
the class and a hearty handshake
at the end.
The daily planner broke a day
into 15-minute increments. A student was supposed to fill in each
space with an activity. Certain
activities were excluded, for obvious reasons. Sleep filled a third of
the daily slots, and filling out the
daily planner filled another third.
That daily planner taught people
to make lists of things to do.
Each night, it’s my habit to
make a list of things to do for
the next day. There is a satisfaction and a tactile pleasure
derived from crossing things off
A Birder’s List of 20
Things to Do Today
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that list as they are accomplished.
How important are lists? In the
primitive days before cellphones,
I was given a probationary job
of grocery shopping. My wife
prepared a list written on the
back of an envelope that once
held our telephone bill. That
telephone was a landline. It might
have had a rotary dial. My wife
expressed skepticism regarding
my ability to stick to that list.
I dismissed her doubts with,
“Would the man you married fail
at such a minimal task?”
I lost that list long before I’d
located a shopping cart with four
working wheels. I was resourceful.
I followed a guy my age as he
pushed a cart around the grocery
store. What he put into his cart,
I put into mine. It was a brilliant
plan, but it didn’t work. My
heaping cart had three items that
had been on my wife’s list.