The Bucket List and the Work Boots

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Yesterday was the first day of classes at Columbia, which ushered in the fruitful chaos that is the fall semester here at college. Though I've been here for a week to work on Well Woman topics and generally ease myself back into New York-style living, the beginning of classes was wonderful. Sitting down with a bunch of strangers in order to explore a new and interesting (or required) topic is still exciting to me. Alas, I am a student at heart.

But another thought dawns on me whenever I sit down in one of our classrooms. I picture myself in the trenches of stats homework, putting on my size 8 work boots and wielding my pencil like a musket, spending hours in the morning and night trying to finish… The work is all consuming. And thus, I had to start thinking of how I would shift my mentality towards fun and creative pursuits.

So, I came up with a deceptively simple solution: a bucket list.

Over the summer, when I was parading through the streets of Seattle, I started working on a summer bucket list, and found it an effective strategy to inject a little time for myself into the otherwise long and draining days. Not everything on the list has to get finished, but just having it in the back of my head got me thinking of what I could do when I was not at work. So, this fall, I am enacting a similar process to see if it can translate over. Here are some examples of list-worthy items:

1. Join a roller derby practice team.
2. Go to the giant pillow fight.
3. Do at least 1 innovative workshop with Well Woman.
4. Perform week-long experiments (such as water-only week).
5. Finish writing novel by the end of November.

My list is miles long, but these are some of my favorite gems. Some of them are event-based and some of them are based on personal work ethic, but I believe that all of them are manageable and helpful on the way to this semester’s goals.

What do you do to balance personal life and work life? Let me know in the comments!
Also, check out my articles on productivity and goal-setting.