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May 4, 2011

To Do Lists Are Useful If…

by Rev. A. J. Iovine

Last night, I organized my Wednesday down to what could be described as the last second. From waking up at 5am until going to bed sometime around 11pm, my entire day was planned. I had settled on a lengthy “to do” list that included writing up a number of announcements for our weekend church bulletin, preparing for tonight’s Divine Service, finishing up a lot of paper work, visiting a couple of people in a local rehabilitation center, going shopping for vegetables, etc.

And wouldn’t you know it: To Do lists are only good as the paper (or the electronic file) that they are written on.

After Morning Prayer, I went back home to answer a few emails and make a few calls, but as I was sitting at my home office desk, I remembered that iPhoto on my iMac hasn’t been working since January. For the next hour I sat there searching the Internet for answers to why iPhoto was not opening. This is bad for one reason – all of my photos are in iPhoto format and without being able to open the application, the photos are worthless.

Suffice to say, it was one hour flushed down the toilet. I opened up my email account and saw that my inbox had grown dramatically since the night before, causing my stress level that had already popped because of the continuation of my iPhoto troubles to grow even further. I answered a couple, but nowhere near enough so I could start archiving. Taking a long breath to try and calm down, I decided to start my “To Do” list and headed over to church. I organized my desk and was just about ready to sit down and start when my coffee habit hit me (or was it the headache). Since I can now drink warm stuff again, I decided to head downstairs to the kitchen to make a cup of java. When I walked into the kitchen, my head started pounding again. The place was a mess — coffee urns, paper bags, boxed crackers, and general junk littered the entire counter area around the whole kitchen. It looked terrible.

I couldn’t take it!! I picked up the box of pita chips and wondered if anyone would ever eat them. For a moment, I stared at the large empty plastic box used to store children’s toys  and wondered why the heck was this thing in the kitchen in the first place? The radio that doesn’t get good reception had found its way back into the kitchen, so I dragged it out. And what is with all these large paper bags behind the door? After an hour of putting things away, I was almost satisfied. I still hadn’t started the coffee or my “To Do” list.

Of course, I went back upstairs following starting the coffee brewing and entered the church office which was yet another mess. I started throwing things out. Paper and old telephones and newspapers still in their plastic bag wrapping and Children’s Worship materials and hymnals and my church inbox, everything was a mess. And I got to cleaning.

After what seemed like forever, I think the church office is in decent shape, though the cabinet is a disaster area.

It is now knocking on 11:45am and I haven’t accomplished anything I need to get done today. Maybe I will go to lunch.

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