MANNO: Short-cuts are not the answer to tackling days’ tasks

Lately I’ve been trying to summarize things – take everything I do and kind of compress it into something I can tackle in less time. It happens with everything – thoughts and ideas, groceries, shortcuts home, the number of cookies I need (just add one), general to-do lists for the day. Quantity of information over quality, I guess, especially when there’s a lot to do.

I know it’s probably detrimental to my intelligence – lazy, even – but I do it anyway. How else am I going to watch Daniel Craig, the James Bond, slightly re-legitimize the Oscars with a win and read the “Diff’rent Strokes” Wikipedia page at the same time? A little of each it is. But I hate the feeling that leads to the habit: that there are not enough hours in a day for everything to get done. Especially the fun stuff.

The result is just a mishmash of bombarded information – lots of little tasks are getting crossed off, but none of them get the attention they should. I can’t really sink my teeth into anything anymore. Either the things I like to do get their shortened version – watching eight minutes of “Taxi Driver,” speed-eating through a sandwich – or they get replaced with one of the “necessary” tasks whose list knows no boundaries.

I think I need a solution. Maybe I should wake up earlier – make some coffee, eat some toast, read the daily news. But that would interrupt my 12 snoozes before waking up (rest assured, I’m working on it), plus I already wake up pretty early. Maybe I should stay up later … eh, doesn’t sound too interesting. Maybe the solution is to skip the necessary things, just sort of “forget” about something here and there. That’s probably a bad one, too, though, because showering is likely the first to go.

No good solution, then. But that’s not even the worst part. It’s that some days I really don’t have all that much to do, anyway. I’m just fine-tuned to continue the pattern of the busy days, doing a lot of different things but just a little bit of each. Maybe I just need to relax.

That’s it! So actually, the solution comes in two parts: relaxing a bit and eating some breakfast. There’s pancakes. Good deal.

Those are my two favorite things to do by the way: watch “Taxi Driver” and eat a sandwich. It’s a shame when you can’t have both. Maybe I can squeeze them in before breakfast tomorrow.

Tony Manno is a junior double majoring in journalism and writing-intensive English. Email him at