Yeah, I know we all have To Do lists but in addition to my task specific ones, I have a general one that I use to fill slow times of the day. Something about being idle makes me uncomfortable.  So when I’m waiting for a client to get back to me or some file to convert or re-encode, here’s what I keep on hand to keep me occupied.

  • Read yet more news, courtesy of Google Reader. Generally, I’m able to clear out my unread items several times a day, even though I have several high volume feeds on my lists.
  • Hop on the stationary bike and do a 5 quick miles on the stationary bike at 25-30mph (uphill/resistance). This takes less time than you think and I can usually do 2-3 of these mini-cardios though out an average day. I’ll probably start bumping these sessions up a bit since they are diminishing in effort.
  • Scan & Sort a handful of photos from the enormous backlog of physical photographs I have on hand. I’m essentially taking a huge collection of family photos that are in no particular order, scanning them, cleaning them up and sorting them by date and subject. Eventually, it will be an online album accessible only to family members.
  • Perform one Lynda.com tutorial course. There are several I’m doing concurrently. Some are just refreshers while others are new territory. I attempt to knock out one chapter a day (more or less with longer/short or more difficult topics).
  • Find and listen to at least one piece of music I’ve never heard before. I can’t say these all end up being winners or to my taste, but given that many artists are finally beginning to realize the potential of the Internet in reaching new, potential fans (regardless of the dire warnings of the RIAA), this is one of my easier daily To Dos.
  • Complete one Rosetta Stone language lesson. I’m currently dabbling with Italian because I have someone I can try it out on. I can’t say they’re sticking as well as I’d like, but so far, along with Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone has been my favorite language course to date.
  • Random social stuff in real life (as opposed to that exchange of data packets that we call socializing online). Sincerely compliment at least one person (not necessarily someone I know) and/or say hello to anyone who makes eye contact during the course of normal events (walking down the street, etc).
  • Add the lyrics to one piece of music in my collection that is currently lacking that information.
  • Do at least one small, local task that makes the world cleaner, better or friendlier for other people.  This normally takes the form of picking up a piece of trash neglected on the street or park, letting someone into oncoming traffic even if its not convenient to me, etc, but I’ll take whatever opportunity I can.

Anyone else have a similar list, formal or informal? I”d love to hear yours.