GTD for Ten Year Olds

It’s never too early to develop good habits, I guess. At least that’s what I thought when, here visiting my sister, I saw this to-do list taped to the wall in my nephew’s room.


I fully acknowledge that this could be an uncle’s pride talking, but is that not the most adorable set of action items ever set to paper? David Allan would be proud.

For the record, “Scoop the poop” refers to the litterbox for his two cats, which are driving my allergies crazy. And “Take care of Hotrod” refers to his hermit crab.

  1. That is truly inspiring and almost embarrassing that a ten year old has my process beat. I imagine your nephew keeps his room extremely clean and tidy? I have a younger brother (14 yr. old). Every item in his room is meticulously lined up – t-shirts, matched socks, jeans, desktop items, sheets.. He even goes so far as to trade in wrinkly bills at the bank for crisp bills when he carries cash. Although he does not keep a paper todo list handy, he does update his notes on his iPod regularly.

    Kids these days…

  2. You know, at first I thought that said “Take care of Hatred” which, while a tad odd, is a very noble goal for a young kid to have.

    Either way, good for him.

  3. I know, that’s what I mean by adorable, right? How about the way “clean” looks like it was almost spelled with a K.

    Scott and Thom: I have to admit I never even saw “hatred,” but then I guess it’s because I knew who Hotrod is.

    Derek: in all fairness, I think my sister made him sit down and write up this list, and I’m not sure he’s done everything on it yet.

  4. A hilarious anecdote in the family is when we discovered an old agenda with writings of my brother, then a 8-year-old or so, detailing his “duties” in an hourly basis for some time. It went something like this:

    8:30 Bathe
    8:45 Dress up
    9:30 Play
    11:30 Watch TV
    1:30 Sleep

    It still gives us a chuckle to this day.

  5. I think I’m under the influence of the traits Derek pointed out in his comment. Everything in my room must be perfect, sometimes I wish I had my own house/apartment just so I could organize it perfectly without replying on others.

    Everything must be lined up perfectly, desk clean, clothes organized. There must be something wrong with me..

  6. As soon as I saw this gem, I immediately thought of the list my oldest son (7) put together earlier this year.

    I believe this list just appeared one day, without any prompting. I haven’t seen another since, though!

  7. I think lists, simple ones like this, are much harder to ignore than digital ones on the computer. We’d all be wise to roll back to the analog list on our office doors.

    Well, at least me.

  8. I assumed “hotrod”, but did find him a tad young to drive a car, so I’m glad you annotated it.

    It is indeed an adorable list, though, yeah. And “to due”… very smart.

  9. I thought that “Youth was to be wasted on the young.” It’s kind of sad that even children these days have to strive for efficiency. I guess innocence is lost at an ever earlier age these days.

  10. I think you should trademark the phrase “Scoop the Poop,” and launch a new, child-friendly brand of kitty litter.

    The Oprah-hour television spot writes itself.

  11. What you’ve failed to mention is the obvious newspaper influence you’ve had over the lad. As those in the know will tell you, From the 1920s to the late 1960s a newspaper editor would often hold the run of a paper if one of his reporters felt they had a story of such importance as to postpone the run of the publication. This was of course known as a “scoop”. Upon reviewing the filed item the editor would remark, “Let’s roll ’em boys!” with child-like glee if it met with his approval. If not he would exclaim, “POOP THE SCOOP!” which meant the run had been held up for nothing and the reporter could look forward to a long evening of beatings about the head and body with a tire iron.

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