April 26, 2010

The Steff Metal Guide to Writing To-Do Lists

Tr00 Metal Life

I own a little notebook. I carry it around with me. It nestles in my purse and sits on my desk, haunting me. I write lists in this notebook. A new list every morning.

A to-do list.

I believe in the power of the to-do list. I am a naturally chaotic, disorganised person (just ask anyone who’s witnessed my 6:30am dash around the house to find my socks, boots, glasses, cellphone, wallet, swipe card, MP3 player and lunch) and without lists, I forget things. Important things. Usually one or more of the items on the list above.


Do it!

I am the Gene Simmons of list writers. I relish the sensation of scrawling a big black line through each item. My list for today: 24 items. my list for planning our Europe trip? Oooooh, somewhere over 200. I’m working on our list for moving to Germany, which is about 30 items at the moment.

Some people say to only write a few, important tasks on your lists. I disagree. I like to write lots of tasks – between 15-30, including items like “have lunch” and “feed the cat”, because I love being able to cross them off. More things to do? More things to cross off. I know, I am sick. But, when I manage to complete a 20 item to-do list in a day, I feel pretty damn good.

I also like the lists to be somewhat humorous, at least to me, so I have an excuse for keeping my notebook and reading back over it and giggling.

Here are two of my lists from the past week:

  • finish editing Thorn up till the scene where the stuff happens. You know what I mean.
  • make french toast
  • eat french toast
  • finish copywriting and bill client
  • finish painting while watching Black Books
  • empty kitty litter tray while making an accurate size comparison between cat’s head and cats … poo.
  • never write the word poo in a to-do list again


  • sex
  • find missing Korplikaani CD
  • reply to dude about the thing
  • marinade meat
  • make crumble
  • shopping list
  • renew library books
  • Thai lunch with friend from work
  • maybe some more sex

In the interest of spreading the list-making love, I’ve compiled a short tutorial on making Metal-worthy to-do lists.

Steff’s rules for creating a Grymm and Epic To-Do list

1. It should be EPIC

It should be long and impossible, because life is long and impossible, and we do it anyway. Everything you don’t do either wasn’t important or can be moved to the next day.

2. It doesn’t have to be serious

Who said organising had to be all “take the garbage out” and “Mow the lawns.” Yes, you have to put down these chores, but spread them out between things you DO want to do, or give them more metal names. It’s never mowing the lawns at the Steff Metal house, more like “Slaying the Mightly Army of Apocalyptic Demon Grass”.

3. It should be Grymm

Any metalhead’s to-do list should include at least one of the four “m”‘s – meat, maidens, mead and metal. If you can include all four items, so much the better.

4. It should be constantly updated

To-do lists are not static, but fluid. They constantly exist in a stage of not-being-finished. The sooner you accept that you will NEVER, ever finish your to-do list, the happier you will be to

5. It should contain achieveable goals

The purpose of a to-do list is to cross things off. So you need to write items you can define as “complete” so you can cross them off. It doesn’t matter how outrageous they are, from “Open for Metallica” to “finish an entire pizza”, it should be a one-time event that you can finish and cross off, even if it takes you three years to finally achieve it.

Readers, how do you organise your hectic lives? Would you like to share today’s to-do lists with me?

Yours with meat, maidens, mead and metal!

12 Comments on “The Steff Metal Guide to Writing To-Do Lists

March 31, 2012 at 1:59 pm

I love all lists! It’s like a hobby to write them =)

December 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Too funny. I thought I was the only compulsive list maker around. My list today:

chill out already
tweet the thingie (done)
tweet the other one too cause it helps(done)
play on twitter after checking mail (done)
check out the wifi thingamagig to see if you can do it your damned self
Feed the cat (done)
Check email (done)
Bug someone (done par excellence!)
dishes don’t wash themselves (um why not)
kitty box grossness (eww)
play on twitter (done)
write stuff
write better stuff
tweet the things again (done)
pp&…oh shit there’s no j. (done minus J)
make a grocery list
put J on the list
call linda (done)
play on twitter (done)
didja chill yet
play some more
Do 2 stupid things (done!)

Yuwanda Black
December 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Thank you for Tip #4. Even though I rarely finish what’s on my lists, I feel so much more accomplished b/c I can look back and see what I DID do. That always makes me feel better.

It helps that I tend to be a “half glass full” kind of girl to begin with. :-)

April 28, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Can you write maidens if you’re a female? I don’t swing that way! Haha.

To do list for today…
– rise from the grave
– scowl at humans while sitting on the floor in class because dead people have no sense of time
– study!

April 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

LOVE to-do lists!

Call about Astarte CD
Listen to Astarte CD
Work out to Astarte CD
Pay bills (drew an angry face next to that one)
Call about A/C
Research W&D options

Taking your advice about making it more brutal I think I would change “Call about A/C” to “Make sacrifices to Odin to bring in the cold North Wind.” Which, thankfully, was resolved.

I always try to incorporate little drawings into my to-do list. Sometimes they get very involved.

April 27, 2010 at 2:50 am

the impossibly long list…I know that one well.

April 27, 2010 at 1:01 am

@ Louise – definitely sounds better!

@adastra – we travelled across Germany last year and totally fell in love with the place, and the people. We are moving June/July next year, and hoping to move to Itzehoe or one of the smaller towns not too far from Hamburg (Itzehoe is good because it’s connected to Hamburg via the railway). We have wonderful friends in Hamburg and would love to live close to Wacken :)

April 27, 2010 at 12:11 am

Why do you want to move to Germany, and where there? ;)

April 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm

I just found the To-Do-Lists for me. They really rock! Today my list is not packed because I have long hours at University.

But i thank you for the tipps! It will make my list better!

Louise Curtis
April 26, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I love the to-do list. Today:
-weigh myself (done)
-eat 6 times (1 done)
-write a bit
-half an hour of exercise
-hoover (unlikely)
-teach three students
-buy conditioner, fruit, vegetables, meat, cat food, other cat food, potatoes.

Clearly I should change “hoover” to “battle the vast upper and lower cat hair fields of death”. That sounds WAY better.


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