It’s interesting to look at last week’s to-do list and see what actually got done.

I memorized the first two pages of Ravel and the last four pages of Mozart, I worked the 16 measures of the first movement of the Mozart that were still troubling me, and I recorded myself playing Chopin.

I finished reading Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning and The Inner Game of Music.

I wrote a blog post about overcorrection, but didn’t write a blog post about using the techniques in Make it Stick and The Inner Game of Music while practicing — and I knew that one of those blog posts probably wouldn’t happen as soon as I made the to-do list, because I had already planned to use Tuesday’s post for the Chopin recording and that only gave me Thursday’s post for either “overcorrecting” or “piano practice techniques”.

And, as I have written before, the number one rule of making to-do lists is making sure you have an open timeslot for everything you want to do.

What else? I wrote Tara a card, though I won’t put it in the mail until this afternoon. I also studied my grandmaster chess games; in fact, I used some of the techniques I learned in Make it Stick to improve the way I studied chess.

What didn’t I do? I didn’t play a chess game with L. We talked about it, but never ended up with enough simultaneous, consecutive free hours for a full game. As a counterbalance, I suggested that we always have an asynchronous chess game going on Chess.com and I’m hoping to get that started today (I sent him an invite this morning).

We also didn’t make any origami animals, probably because that was more on my to-do list than it was on L’s — but we did throw a backyard party for some vaccinated friends, which hadn’t been on either of our to-do lists when we started the week.

Going to the lake WAS on both of our to-do lists, and we took our first trip of the year on Sunday. ❤️


With that in mind, here is a BETTER(?) to-do list for this week.

To memorize one page of Ravel’s La Valse per day (today’s page is already memorized, did it this morning).

To memorize four of the eight movements in Stravinsky’s Les cinq doigts (movement 7 is already memorized as of this morning, but it’s very short).

To record myself playing the third movement of Mozart’s K332 by Friday, and share it as part of this week’s Thoughts From My Office.

To write a post about piano practice techniques for either Tuesday or Thursday, and use the other slot for blogging about whatever is on my mind at the time.

To continue refining the way in which I practice chess, and come up with some kind of metric for gauging my progress. I’m not satisfied with any of the current metrics, e.g. “number of grandmaster games studied,” because — as I’ve written in the past and as was reiterated in Make it Stickstudying is not the same thing as learning.

To change that chalkboard sign from “number of days spent without overcorrecting” to “number of days spent mindfully” or maybe “number of days spent acting vs. reacting,” since it is easy for me to say that was not technically an OVERCORRECTION and I want something that is a bit more specific (and simultaneously a bit more global) to work towards.

To invite L to play asynchronous chess on Chess.com with me (already done, and notice that I did not frame this to-do as “to play a game of chess with L,” since one of the factors I ignored in last week’s to-do list was that I can only track and complete my own actions).

To make three origami flowers (with L or on my own) and put them in the bedroom vase, which I have wanted to do since we started making origami flowers months ago

And that should be enough to get us through the week, in addition to all of my usual freelance work, yoga, weightlifting, laundry, cooking, socializing, and so on. ❤️

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