So my wife and daughter have left me home alone for three days. Party time, right? Wrong. In addition to my day job, I now have to figure out how to feed the pets, clean the litter boxes, do the dishes, keep the house neat, administer pet meds, cook myself dinner, walk the dog three times a day…I have to actually do all the stuff my wife normally does. For three whole days!
But my wife is a very smart woman. She knows I’m in way over my head so here’s what she did: she created a three day schedule, with little check boxes for every activity. 10am on Tuesday – time to walk Meiko, check! 7pm on Wednesday – time to clean the litter boxes, check! Not only have I not missed a single job yet, I’m actually enjoying this because here’s the secret: I love checking stuff off lists. It doesn’t really matter what’s on the list.
Over the years, I’ve learned that seemingly reasonable requests like “Can you do X whenever X needs to be done?” don’t seem to work for me. What I need is “Please do X every day at 7pm”. Extra credit for “here’s a list with checkboxes you can use to keep track of when you’ve done X”. Let me be the first to admit that requiring this level of coddling is pathetic. Perhaps there’s a biochemical explanation but the bottom line is: in order to do a job, I need some structure. And the more boring the job, the more structure I need.
Perhaps it’s just me but I wonder if this is a common male trait. I’d be interested in knowing your thoughts. Is this is a guy thing or a Marc thing?