College of Staten Island
 The City University of New York

  Harry Thorne,
  WAC Coordinator
  Office: Building 2S Rm 227
  Email WAC

Writing Across the Curriculum/
Writing in the Disciplines
for Students

 To-do Lists and Calendars

To-do lists and calendars for keeping track of all of your assignments help you not only avoid forgetting about an assignment until the last minute, but they can also make life a lot less stressful. I realized awhile back that if you don’t make a to-do list, then you end up spending all kinds of energy reminding yourself over and over to do the same thing. I’d be trying to write or watch TV or hang out with friends and I’d keep forgetting and reminding myself of something I had to do. It’s annoying. And exhausting.

The problem with to-do lists is that people can sometimes get stuck just on making the list. I have a friend who seems to spend more time on making lists and schedules for doing work than actually doing work itself. The point of a list is to just keep track of everything you have due and your plan for doing it.

These days, I have a really simple system for keeping track of projects and my plan for doing them. I write the name of one project and when it is due on a sticky note. I have a row of them next to my desk. I move the sticky notes for projects I’m working on that day under another sticky note that says “today.” If I didn’t have a to-do system, I’d end up jumping ahead to write the big book review I’m excited about instead of the essay that I’m nervous to start, but need to turn in much sooner.

Each morning, I jot down which smaller parts of each project I want to do that day. Telling myself that I need to write a whole dissertation chapter is really scary. But if I write on my to-do list that I just want to write 3 pages about x, pick up those two books I need, and make notes about an article, then I can manage to get my work done that day. And working consistently adds up to huge results.

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