Day 118: Checklist Attrition

I’m still lovin’ on the checklist, but it’s starting to get a bit… fuzzy around the edges. Checklist attrition is happening. Strangely, I thought the 10-15 minutes of uke practice would be the first thing to go. But it’s the stretching.

I’ve mentioned that I’m not a big fan of stretching, right?

So yeah — I’m doing it every night, but the last couple of nights I’ve started doing it without the checklist. To the untrained eye this might look like “good, he’s internalizing it.” I, who know better, recognize this as me gettin’ sloppy.

Things I’m solid on:

  • Ukulele practice! Which is weird. I thought it would be the one I’d drift off on the soonest.
  • Planking. Again, I thought I might back off on this, but it’s a kind of easy one to knock off and while it hurts, I’m enjoying the progression.
  • Flossing/brushing. Kind of a no-brainer.

Things I’m okay on:

  • Food logging. I’m doing it, but it’s still out of flow for me to log into LoseIt and actually type it all in. Embarrassing on Bad Snack Days, too.
  • House tours: my wife will say “I’ve turned the lights off, etc.” and I’ll just take her word for it. Which I totally should, but then again, I should also do the tour myself because… checklist.
  • Checking out. It’s being done, but after all the other stuff, I kind of feel “checked out” already.

Things I’m slipping on — hardcore checklist attrition:

  • Stretching. I think because I don’t have a set of stretches, I’m just kind of making up “stretching” every night. I’m going to open a new browser tab and type “five minute stretching routine” and print something off to follow for the next week.

Checklist attrition and morning compliance

The whole point of the checklist is readiness for sleep in a lot of ways. I think that’s all good; I question whether the planking gets my body too revved up just before bedtime, but I think it’s okay.

But the stretching. That’s something I gotta work on.



Day 111: Checklist, day 2

I gotta say I am loving the checklist.

Honestly, I thought I wouldn’t. I thought I’d think it was dumb. I’m not normally a checklist guy. I mean, I can make a good checklist, but filling them out? Nah. I just bristle at that level of stricture in my life.

But I really like it! I think it’s partly because it’s actually helpful. And doesn’t take too much time.

Here are a few of the things that are working for me:

  • It’s interspersed with “gimmes” — flossing, brushing my teeth, turning the lights off. Little easy ones. Keeps me feeling good.
  • And “challenges” — ukulele practice (just 10 minutes), planking. Things that feel “meaty” when I tick them.
  • Finally, checking out as the very last thing. So much better than doing it at some interim point when I’m distracted by the next thing.

A checklist a day keeps the doctor… I don’t know, busy dealing with carpal tunnel syndromes or something

So my natural instinct is of course CHECKLIST ALL THE THINGS. Because that’s how I roll. Find a good idea, hammer it flat.

But I’m resisting. I think I’m going to stick to just a before-bed checklist for now. More might kill the fun, and I’m having a hard time seeing how a checklist that includes “exercise” which can take up to an hour and a quarter, would be fun. Or at least as fun as one with a lot of little hits on it.


Day 110: Check-Out Checklist

So I did it! A check-out checklist. Took less than 10 minutes to do.

It is very “me” that I started at “well, I need to design this, and then I’ll have to look into how to get them printed as a tear-off pad that I can…”

And I was getting into logistics, and printing, and cost, and then jerked back to reality with

“…just print a bunch on regular letter-sized paper, dummy.”

So that’s what I’m doing.

Check-Out Checklist
My nightly checklist! Subject to change over time.

Check-OutChecklist — the PDF, if you want it.

These are the Things What Must Be Done before I get into bed each night. Some are kind of gimmes (brush teeth, turn off lights), some are a bit more ambitious (plank, practice ukulele for 10 minutes). But at least it’s a sequence. And nothing says I have to check every item every night. It’s also about seeing what I’m good at and not so good at over time.

My Check-Out Checklist Puts Checking Out Last

So “check out” is the last thing on the checklist. Previously, it would have been somewhere up around “brush teeth.” But that’s when I was trying to rock it checklist-free — attach it to another habit (like brushing my teeth).

Now, with the checklist actually happening, it seems to make the most sense to just have it be the last thing I do before going to bed.

STILL not a great food day yesterday. But #1 on the list is “logging,” which is going to be scrupulous and unrelenting. I was appalled at how much I wound up eating yesterday. It was mostly to joining colleagues for “second lunch”, and kind of snacking through the evening due to a lack of attention. But at least logging it lets me be aware and appalled. Hopefully that will trigger better behaviour.