Making a To-Do List

pen calendar to do checklist
Photo by Breakingpic on

Tomorrow we are heading down to Florida for the kids’ spring break. Of course, given the backlog of these essays I’ve built up, by the time you read this we’ll already be back. We drive down to Florida several times a year and each time, in the week leading up to the trip, the same thing happens. On Monday, I think to myself, Gee, we’re leaving on Friday. I better get started on all of the things that need to be done before we drive off. Then, I go about my day. Now it is Thursday, and we depart in a little over 24 hours. I’ve got full day of work ahead of me. I’ve got to take Grace to gymnastics this evening. Zach has soccer practice at 7 pm–the latest practice he’s had since he started in kindergarten. And the girls have a dance event at school in between.

When the pressure is on, I start making lists, and I thought I could kill two birds with one stone today by writing my to-do list in this essay. I get my list and you get something to read, and we both win. Here, then, are some of the things I need to get done in the next 24 hours:

  • Pack. It’s going to be hot in Florida so I can pack shorts and t-shirts. Actually, I keep a set of travel checklists in Obsidian that I print out before each trip and that make it easy to know what I have to pack.
  • Ask the neighbor to pick up our mail while we are gone. The post office is no longer very good at this.
  • I need to clean out the car. I do this before each trip. I get rid of all of the trash, vacuum out the car, clean the windows and the dashboard, make sure that the various cables for charging devices are installed, etc.
  • Run to the grocery store. We’ve got into the habit, especially during the pandemic, of bringing some food with us, so that we can be more efficient in our drive.
  • The Littlest Miss asked me to put some movies on the iPad so she can watch them on the drive. I have to do that.
  • I need to download the books that I want to listen to during the drive.
  • There’s a bunch of things around the house that need to be tidied up before we leave. My desk is still a mess, but that may be too much to tackle.
  • I have some essays to write, but this counts as one, and with this essay, I’ve now got 20 days worth scheduled, so if I don’t write another one today, it’s okay.
  • I’d really like to finish reading the final volume of William L. Shirer’s memoir. I’ve only got 100 or 150 pages left. It would be nice to begin the drive with a new book.
  • Gas! I have to fill up the car, which is expensive these days.
  • The trash and recycling was picked up today, but I’ll want to clear the house of any remaining trash and recycling before we head out.
  • I’ll be working from Florida next week, so I’ll need to make sure to bring my work laptop with me.

I like making lists like these becaues they give me the illusion that I am getting things done, when really, they are just another way of avoiding the things that I need to do. I suppose that means I should wrap up and get to work. As you can see, I’ve got lot of preparation to do. Now, I just need to find the time to do it.

Written on April 7, 2022.

Did you enjoy this post?
If so, consider subscribing to the blog using the form below or clicking on the button below to follow the blog. And consider telling a friend about it. Already a reader or subscriber to the blog? Thanks for reading!

Follow Jamie Todd Rubin on


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.