Let’s Talk with Diane Stuckart

Wiping the Slate Clean…
by Diane Stuckart

I just erased my white board. I had a long list of to-do’s that I’d been knocking off, bit by bit, and this blog post was my final item. Now, with that task crossed off, I get to start with a clean fresh slate, er, board, and start composing a brand new list of stuff to do.

I’ve always been a list maker. Whether it’s book-related projects, or things to pack for a trip, or all the errands I need to run, I feel better seeing it written down. There’s nothing more satisfying than lining through those items, one at a time, as each is completed. Sure, I could set reminders on Outlook or keep an Excel spreadsheet—both of which I do/have done. But it’s not quite the same thing, dismissing a pop-up box or highlighting a row. Nope, lists should be written by hand. (And here’s a dirty little secret shared by inveterate list makers…sometimes we add something we’ve already done to the list, just for the satisfaction of crossing it off.)

I once used individual sheets of paper, then switched to those mini legal tablets…though at the height of my list-making mania, I recorded each day’s to-do’s on a new page in a small spiral notebook. But a few years ago, after my mom died and I was cleaning out her office, I found a little white board she had tucked away. Nothing fancy, it was basically a heavy piece of cardboard just the right size, 14”x10”, with a slick white surface. But what drew me was the fact it had printed graphics that made it look like an oversized piece of notebook paper. I took that board home with me, and I’ve been using it to write out my lists ever since.

My whiteboard is a bit battered now, mostly because my cat has a bad habit of kicking it off my desk when he stretches his legs (yes, he sits on my desk while I write). And I already had to cover the back of it with contact paper, since one of the pressed paper layers started to peel. But I love my little board, and since I’ve not been able to find another one like it, I suspect I’ll be patching it back together for years to come. Besides, it reminds me of my mom.

So, tell me, do you have a particular technique you use to help yourself remember all your commitments?

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