J. Alfred Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons, I document mine in checkmarks. These marks live in my day timer, which I buy each year at Office Depot. In early January, I write down everyone’s birthdays for the year, highlighting them in yellow so I don’t miss them by mistake. Then I write down my tasks for the first of each month: load online coupons, invoice for columns, clean washer, check bank accounts. Then the checkmarks begin, which each day’s tasks written down with my No. 2 BIC pencil.
It’s almost embarrassing to admit how much satisfaction I get out of checkmarking off a task. Sometimes, if one checkmark is taking too long to accomplish, I’ll do a quick one, like watering the plants, so I get a quick mark and feel like I’m reaching my goals. The hardest checkmarks to obtain are of course the ones for writing. I get one checkmark for each hour I write and I try to get four of them each day. The working out checkmark is another one that’s hard won, but more often than not these days I get to tick that one off too.