10P 10: How To GSD (Get Shit Done) On Your To-Do List!

T0P 10:
 
How To GSD (Get Shit Done) On Your To-Do List!
 
written by Cameron Brtnik
 
It’s Monday…
 
    You’ve got a million things to get done and already you’re falling behind… So you write a To Do List: buy milk, drop off clothes at dry cleaners, send meeting syllabus, pickup package at post office, take phone to get fixed, call mother back, watch ep 4 of House of Cards… Sound familiar? We live in an overwhelming world of constant upgrading technology, perpetual updating, and a ceaseless barrage of text messages on top of our already lengthy to-do lists of more trivial tasks. How to cope with it all? Through research, trying out various proven methods and a good deal of trial and error, I’ve come up with my own techniques on being productive and discovered some invaluable insights. Without further ado-list (sorry), here’s my Top 10 List of “How To Get Shit Done On Your To Do List” or the easy to memorize acronym “HTGSDOYTDL!” Just do it.
 
 
Now let’s Get Shit Done on your to-do list!

1. Make a To-Do List (duh!) – Scrap your notebook and use the Evernote app. It’s full of fantastic features to help get your To Do Lists, and your life, in order. In fact, I’m using it right now!

2. Take Action – Add a NA or Next Action next to each task on your To Do List. It’s much easier, and more realistic to get shit on your list done in “chunks.” This simple tweak will do wonders. Some examples:

  • Next to “Call mother” add “Call mother – NA [ ] Call Tuesday 9 a.m.”
  • Instead of “Work on Novel” add “Work on Novel – NA [ ] write one paragraph”

3. Check It Out – Use box bullet points [x] to check off what you’ve completed, track what you’ve already done, and to feel a sense of accomplishment (yes, this reason is just as important!). Take a moment to look at what you’ve accomplished and to feel good about it. This will help build your momentum as you move on to the next task.

4. Reword It – If it’s been forever since you’ve checked something off your never-ending To Do List, try rewording it just slightly. For example: “Surprise hubby with dinner,” might become, “Surprise hubby with coffee,” or, “Finish chapter one of book,” could become, “Write one paragraph of first chapter.” This subconsciously lifts any stress or pressure it puts on you, and you may even end up cooking your honey dinner or typing out that chapter after all.

5. Sense of Urgent See – If, days later, you still haven’t checked that pesky task off your listicle, move it into an “Urgent” or “Super To-do List” reserved for only the things you need to complete ASAP. Everything else gets put off until you complete these tasks – or you may simply need to free up more time in your strenuous schedule.

6. Two Minute Man – Abide by the the old mantra: “If it can be done in two minutes, then do it now.” Now get off your ass and make your bed! Or mow the lawn really fast.

7. White Bored – If you still prefer to physically write things down (ok boomer!), use a large whiteboard so your tasks also become large, oversized even! Keep your whiteboard on full display so it’s visible at all times – from the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed – and feel the pangs of guilt when you notice you didn’t check off: “Do one nice thing for a coworker today.”

8. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) – Keep only 5 to 6 things on your daily To Do List. This will make it much easier, and more realistic, to Get Shit Done! You can change these tasks up daily, but try to only change one at a time. This will help you build a routine by keeping your daily habits strict and regimented.(Like eating that block of cheese before going to bed. That’s why you’re having such vivid dreams!)

9. Account On Me – Have an “Accountability Partner” – Someone who will make sure you stay on track and follow through on whatever you set out to do. I recommend a daily check-in call that will help motivate you and create momentum for your day. It will also help put the pressure on; this friendly fellow will hold you to it that you’re going to finish reorganizing your desk…or else.

10. Don’t Make To-Do Lists – Huh, doesn’t that make this entire listicle redundant? Well, once you get into a daily habit – this may take days, weeks, or even months – it will become innate, a part of you, so that you won’t have to think about To Do Lists or getting shit done anymore. You’ll just do them.

PS. If you’ve written “make to do list” on your To Do List, I apologize for taking up your precious time and just accept that that pigsty of yours you call a room will never get cleaned.
 
 
Want more ways to Get Shit Done on your to-do list? Read PART 2 here: https://cambrtnik.wordpress.com/2021/03/06/10p-10-how-to-gsd-get-shit-done-to-do-list-part-2/

***To my readers: If you have any advice for how you “Get Shit Done,” please leave a comment below or email me at cbrtnik@gmail.com and I’ll feature it the next Top Ten segment!***

Cameron is a freelance writer based in Toronto and devout practitioner of “Getting Shit Done” cbrtnik.com

Poetry Corner – Starbucks

https___blogs-images.forbes.com_emilyprice_files_2019_02_pexels-photo-597933-1200x800

Starbucks

I don’t even recognize this world around me. How am I supposed to be productive? Maneuvering on an unstable rock, an unknown planet, through an ever-evolving galaxy… Staring at the unfamiliar person across from me at a Starbucks, one of many, not special, drinking brown water, trying to find the inspiration at the bottom of the cup…

Multiple unimportant conversations fill the space around me, fleeting moments in a day that blends into the next, any other day really, not special, they’ve all been repeated before... People pretending to be busy, all the while thinking the same thoughts as me, feeling the same feelings, experiencing the same sense of dread…

Some people staring off into the distance, waiting for a reply on their phone, waiting for their partner to join them, waiting for an email, for a response, any response, waiting, always waiting… We are our gadgets and our gadgets are us. Coffee, Cappuccino, Americano, Chai Latte, Cold Brew, Iced Tea, Frappuccino, down the hatch, feeling wired, feeling tired, feeling happy, feeling sad, feeling hope, feeling hopeless...

Just another day at Starbucks.

Short Story – The Dollhouse Cafe

The Dollhouse Cafe
A Short fiction? by Cameron Brtnik
7.30.16 Gukeng, Yunlin
20160801_1402241
Before reading WATCH VIDEO!!! https://youtu.be/FgEr1fXU6xI

WARNING: This is 90% true

The doll…the goddamned doll….

Why the hell would there be a doll in a cafe in the first place? What happened to this place??

    I walked in – a kind of unease came over me that you only feel in haunted houses (that’s what this place felt like – haunted): dusty, horribly weathered floorboards, dilapidated umbrellas lying carelessly on the floor (was there a storm in the cafe? Is that why everyone left??) and piles of random supplies – cups, receipts, flyers, garbage bags – were scattered everywhere. I let my curiosity get the better of me. It reminded me of the time I was about ten, swimming in the ocean in the beautiful waters of the Turks and Caicos, swimming out as far as I could, knowing there was a storm coming…
    I continued on my exploration, documenting my surroundings as I went. Atop the dusty, worn, bar countertop there was an old model of a windmill resembling the still-standing one just outside the entrance, rusty coffee spoons, a chipped ceramic trumpet, and a dusty bottle of plum wine (which I put in my backpack. I figured it must’ve aged quite well). I took stock of my surroundings, looked around the room: a creepy sight, and what made it more so were all these signs that had these comforting mantras like Fall In Love With Coffee and Love Coffee, Love Yourself – the complete opposite of the feeling this cafe was giving me at the moment. This was not a place of love – this was a forgotten place, where any semblance of love had left years ago… This was more like a nightmare from the far-reaches of your darkest dreams….
    There were piles of rubble strewn everywhere made up of trash, peoples’ belongings, a girls shoe?? (Yep, it was a child’s shoe, only one.) One room had a broken TV, DVD player and internet modem thrown on the floor haphazardly like the place had been looted by thieves, but they had left all the expensive electronics behind as if they were in rush to get out of there… Come to think of it, it seemed like everyone was in a rush when they left this place, nothing left in its original spot. I moved past a garbage bag exploding at the top and saw…I had to stop in my tracks. My heart was beating louder now – I was looking at what I was sure was a dead dog; it’s limp furry face facedown on the cold, dirty floor. It’s clean white fur looked a little too clean..so I used an umbrella and prodded it… Thank God – at times like this I am sure He does not exist – it was just a stuffed toy bear. I turned it over, peering into its black, button-like eyes, one of them dangling by a black thread barely hanging on to its pupil like an optic nerve, thanking God again it wasn’t a dead dog but rather some carnival prize left behind by a young boy (like he was in a rush…).
    I moved behind the bar, where it looked like most of the tragedy happened (whatever “it” was). There were paper cups, newspapers, business cards, playing cards strewn everywhere. But something strange caught my eye, smack-dab at my feet…. (after seeing the stuffed bear I didn’t think I could take much more) – it was a Goddamned doll. Every stereotype from every horror movie ever made lay inches form my feet. I stood there, motionless, no longer sure if this was reality or a cheesy nightmare… It, like the bear, was lying facedown. I slowly bent to pick it up… I held it in my hand – I think I was checking to make sure it was real – turned it around, and felt my heart sink.. (it’s just a doll!) It’s hair, crusty and full of cobwebs; its head, so lightweight it felt limp in my hand, a styrofoam ball wrapped in cloth; its face, stained with coffee and dirt, had an almost forlorn quality to it like its owner, undoubtedly a young girl no older than 5 at the time, after loving and caring for it for years decided it wasn’t worth saving from the…(saving from the what??)… I turned it back over and discovered a windup handle attached to her back – another cliche, I know. I wound it up, and the slow trickling of a familiar melody..barely recognizable..too slow to piece together…twinkle..Twinkle Twinkle! It was like the forgotten doll struggled at the strenuous effort to spit out a single note of the children’s classic nursery rhyme (originally a French melody titled Ah, most people mistakingly believe Mozart to be the original composer). I placed it on the countertop and continued exploring, all whilst listening to the haunting melody.. twin-kle..twin–kle…li–ttle—star. Sifting through the trash on the floor, avoiding broken floorboards and potholes as I crept behind the bar. I kept walking into cobwebs, the size of which made me not want to imagine the size of the spider that spun them… Then I saw the most sickening image yet: amid the chaos that was the surface of the bar, next to a lady’s (fake?) sapphire necklace and dusty bottle of perfume, like an aroma from the past, there lay photos – frayed at the edges and faded from light, which gave the impression they were damaged in a fire – of a father and his child, a baby boy. I stared at them for a long while, imagining this father and his son the day the photos were taken (what happened to them? Why did they leave these, only these photos behind?? Again, it seemed like everyone was in a rush to leave this place…). Were they alive? If so, where were they now?? Why didn’t they return for their belongings? The stuffed bear? The doll? The photos??
20160801_1400411
    All of a sudden I had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach, and my inner voice (or is it our inner voice, shared by every human in times of danger, we call it instinct) said GET OUT OF HERE! I picked up the doll, stuffed it in my bag, and turned to leave…but didn’t move an inch. I felt light-headed for an instant, shook it off, then tried to leave again, but my feet wouldn’t budge… I started having a minor panic attack, like a blend of discovering you left the door open and the dog ran out, and the realization that you’re vulnerable, just a human living on a rock controlled by Mother Nature, a pitiful ant struggling everyday just to survive, and tried to shake that off too. I grabbed the edge of the counter to pull myself forward and one foot managed to come loose from – what?? There was only moldy floorboards beneath me, but it simply got stuck again. All of a sudden a sinkhole (in a wood floor?!) started opening up, and I heard a sound that didn’t quite compute at first, not in the secluded mountain region where this abandoned cafe was located: screaming. The screaming of a man, and the unmistakable cries of a young boy…and I started sinking. I was able to get both feet loose, but had to literally hang off the counter and edge my way along, lifting my feet off the ground to the exit of the bar. Just then a hand (WTF!!?) came out of the ominous sinkhole (was the hand attached to anything? It felt like it). It was small, but had the power of a fully-grown man yanking at my foot. I closed my eyes, squeezing them tight…all of a sudden I went back to that moment….

Out in the ocean, wanting to go further (always further, why do you always have to go further you idiot!), the storm on the horizon, and the fear that a great white shark would come out of the depths and snatch my foot….

    ….My sandal came loose in its hand – then I saw something and had an idea, a strange idea (though what was happening right now was strange – maybe desperate idea is a better way to describe it): to grab the stuffed bear and…I reached and grabbed it and threw it into the ever-widening hole…and the hand snatched it and disappeared…along with the hole….I was still holding onto the counter edge, gripping it in a death grip. I realized my knuckles were bleeding, but didn’t even wince. I was on my knees, missing a sandal, which I never saw again. I cautiously limped out the exit, wary of any potholes, and made it into the still-bright sunshine (I had lost track of time a while ago), blinding me momentarily, and headed for the fence I had hopped over not forty minutes earlier (right by a large DO NOT ENTER sign). I finally felt I was in the clear… I continued walking toward the main dirt road, if you can call it that, finally feeling a sense of relief and vowing, speaking to my inner voice again, never to disobey a DO NOT ENTER sign again. And all the while hearing a tring tringing tring sound (that’s the only way to describe it) coming from my backpack, which unnerved me because I completely forgot I had put that doll – that Goddamned doll – in my backpack.
THE END?

Cameron is a fiction writer living in Taiwan, and lover of all things creepy cbrtnik.com