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How to avoid errand/to do list fatigue?
Old 07-12-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
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How to avoid errand/to do list fatigue?

We have been ER'd for 8 months, during which we were traveling or entertaining visitors about half of that time. We have plenty of interests but find that we are getting consumed by the "to do" list and errands. We have talked about ways to avoid this (limit errands and appointments) to a couple of days/week, stay off laptops certain days of the week, etc.). So far we haven't found a great solution. How do others who have been ER'd for a while deal with this?
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:19 PM   #2
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How did you manage it while you were working, and presumably had less time (or perhaps not, with your traveling and hosting)? You probably prioritized things, right? That's what I do. I've had some things on my "to do" list for 6 years now. Fine with me, they'll still be there to do in 5 years when I might get to them.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:29 PM   #3
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I've found that the to do list my wife makes for me is never ending. So I dont get in any hurry to work on it.

We have been married for 37 years. The list has never been completed.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:32 PM   #4
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Don't make lists?
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:39 PM   #5
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One of the reasons that I can't wait to downsize. Almost didn't open the pool this year as it just adds more to the list!
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #6
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Well, not sure what "errands" and "To Do's" you have going on, so can't really offer a decent solution. Being a home body, I do my best to consolidate any errands.

For me, I tend to make one errand trip a week and this coincides with the trip to the grocery store and is usually on a Tuesday. I find that the store is not very busy and they are relatively well stocked. Since I know that I go to the store on Tuesday, then I have a good 6 days to figure out if there are other places I need to go and I consolidate them. If for whatever reason I can't get something done on "grocery day" then I try to maximize the "retiree drive time" (between 10AM and 2 PM). This makes sure that there aren't too many people on the road and getting appointments is usually pretty easy.

As far as "to do" lists go, I just prioritize things. If it's REALLY important, I just do it. If it's not, then...well, I will get to it. If I fart around long enough, the DW will put it in the HIGH PRIORITY list and it will get done pretty quick.

As to the OP, I think some of your issue is that you are still new to the ER world. It took me about a year to get into a "routine" and you may see an improvement in how you get things done when you establish this. It's difficult to go from a w*rking world with deadlines and assclowns breathing down your neck to...well, not dealing with that BS. So, relax, it will all come soon enough.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:22 PM   #7
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I'm in the camp that don't make any list. But my husband and I try to do one thing a day and go out to a place every day. We don't want to be all cooped in, even though the house is too comfy, but we must get out everyday.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:29 PM   #8
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Don't make lists?
+1 What on earth could an early retiree have to do that is so overwhelming? I can't imagine.

Maybe you are renovating or rearranging things inside your home? If so, that will be done for good, soon.

Unless you are extremely sick, you probably don't have even a small handful of doctor/dentist appointments in the next six months. Most other errands are not that time sensitive and can be done on an "if I feel like it today" basis.

You know what it seems like to me? I think maybe it would help if you stopped traveling and entertaining visitors completely for a year or more, until you have managed to decompress and shed stress after your recent retirement. Then you can resume slowly as long as it doesn't cause fatigue.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:55 PM   #9
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Unless you are extremely sick, you probably don't have even a small handful of doctor/dentist appointments in the next six months. Most other errands are not that time sensitive and can be done on an "if I feel like it today" basis.
Me, too.
Something has to be really important to be placed on my calendar app.
And has to be almost critical to be placed on my Reminders app.

Everything else just gets done as it occurs to me.

But then I'm the guy who hated scheduled meetings with a passion when I was in the w*rking world and avoided them like the plague.
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:57 PM   #10
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My todo list everyday is to make lunch and dinner for my husband. His job is to make me breakfast so I can do my todo list. Interdependence.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:39 PM   #11
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Lists??
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:51 PM   #12
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It's not clear whether the problem is that you are trying to do too many things, or how you organize them. One issue I see is that you are spending half your time travelling or entertaining visitors. Perhaps you would not feel so pressured if you cut back on the visitors.

Does your To Do list have too many big, long term projects on it? Like, say......"renovate kitchen"? There is no point in putting something this big on a list. By itself it will never move off the list. It needs to be broken down to a series of actionable tasks, like...."meet with kitchen designer on Tuesday at 10 am."

Do you need to put your everyday recurrent tasks on a To Do list? For example, how do you shop for groceries? How I handle this is by keeping a running list of items that I am going to need next time I shop. This morning I added Milk and Honey to the list (really!). Tomorrow I have a convenient window of opportunity after I play golf. I will take the list with me and do it then. And so on.

I also mentally schedule time for myself to go on a walk, read a book, do the laundry, etc, though I don't put these activities on my calendar and they are flexible. My calendar is for regularly occurring scheduled activities (e.g. golf) and appointments (e.g. the dentist). Other stuff will get done eventually. I don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:01 PM   #13
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Gosh, if I had been traveling for 4 out to 8 months and entertaining guests, I would be tired, too!
DH retired for 1 year, me for 7 months, we have taken 3 trips but only 4 days to 2 weeks long.
When at home, we make a plan to get out once daily--either for errands, exercise, or out for a meal. I threw away our "To Do" list one month after I retired--stuff will get done when it gets done.
Perhaps you could take some down time, not travel or entertain for at least a few months to give yourself some decompression time Relax---retirement will last the rest of your life!
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How to avoid errand/to do list fatigue?
Old 07-12-2017, 05:39 PM   #14
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How to avoid errand/to do list fatigue?

If it isn't leaking I ignore it.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:47 PM   #15
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:54 PM   #16
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I've found that the to do list my wife makes for me is never ending. So I dont get in any hurry to work on it.

We have been married for 37 years. The list has never been completed.
Hahahaha
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:06 PM   #17
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I make lists, I need to. I dont need to drive really anywhere for most things . So if I need a 1/16th of an inch Allen key(see thread on the plumber!) I just put on my sneakers and I fetch it. Round trip less than 10 minutes. It goes something like this :12 noon "BCG ? Yes dear. Go get a 1/16th of an inch Allen key for the plumber or else we wont get the showers fixed " 1201PM, Open moms apt door "Hey Ma Im running to the store Ill be home in 5 minutes, I need something, DONT worry Mrs. BCG is upstairs and the nurse is with you" "Be careful crossing the street" "OK ma". run, jog, walk, to store, locate item, pay, run, jog & walk home. 1207PM "Hey Ma, Im home" "Everything ok?" "Yeah Ma" Hand Allen key to plumber. I have numerous phone calls that try my patience every day, regarding moms health care. They crop up during the day and I start calling at 830am.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:38 PM   #18
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Are your to-do lists made in order to supply your interests? If that's the case, and you have room, stocking up ahead of time on deals may be the way to go on all your interests at once, if you can get all supplies at one store or online. If your errands are more about consumables when hosting (at least while at home), maybe get a standalone freezer and stock up on margarita mixes and BBQ meats or whatever and you're set for however long. Maybe same with liquor, since they tend to keep at least 6 months.

If your to-do list is about cleaning and maintenance, there's not much getting around that. You can do it yourself, outsource it, or let it go and hope things fall apart later rather than sooner. I've tried to make to-do lists about cleaning, but ultimately after years of doing it half-buttocked, I've found that one extremely thorough cleaning a year and then just spot wiping/dusting/mopping/vacuuming/etc. takes up a lot less time overall. I've heard it called cleaning as you go.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:30 PM   #19
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This post made me realize that I make very few lists anymore. Sometimes a few short ones here and there. And I use my calendar on my phone for appointments and such. When I worked downtown I had a large to do list going at all times.

Anyone remember the Franklin Planner?
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:49 PM   #20
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This post made me realize that I make very few lists anymore. Sometimes a few short ones here and there. And I use my calendar on my phone for appointments and such. When I worked downtown I had a large to do list going at all times.

Anyone remember the Franklin Planner?
Oh yes! I even had the software on my Palm Pilot. Remember those?
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