Some people may actually finish their to-do lists, but I’m not one of them. Don’t get me wrong — I would love to climb into bed knowing I did every last thing I wanted to that day. And I guess, to some degree, I do, but my to-do list is not done. I blame it on how I make my to-do list: ranked in descending order, I write down those things I absolutely must do, then the things I want to do and, finally, those things I should do. Though I make a daily hat-tip to Stephen Covey, and his admonishment, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all,” I do tend to share the mindset of the eager-beaver student. (No matter how full your schedule — or to-do list — is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!)

It’s those should-do things that languish longest on my to-do list. Perennial items include practicing any — or better yet, all! — of the musical instruments in my house. Empty my pantry, scrub it from top to bottom, and refill it only with food I will eat (donate or discard the rest). Organize the collection of paint cans, boxes and odds-and-ends under my stairs. And the doozy of them all: sort through all of the papers in my home office file cabinet so I can stop storing pay stubs from the ’90s. (In my defense, they’re neatly organized in that cabinet.)

That jam-packed file cabinet is likely to stay that way for another year — that’s a winter project, wouldn’t you agree? — because spring means it’s time for outside chores. First up is cleaning and staining my deck, which I will begin working on this weekend, thanks to inspiration from an article in this issue. While “Spring Maintenance To-Do: Coil Cleaning” by Tim Robb of Goodway Technologies is not about deck cleaning, his advice on prepping coils and chillers inspired me. Turn to page 20 to get inspired yourself.

Of course, you may not be responsible for coils and chiller cleaning, but each of us has spring cleaning tasks we can tackle in the plant. If the thought of doing them makes you groan, remember that the benefits endure much longer than a day. The improved efficiency will still be paying you back come fall.

I guess when I read my own words, I’ll move up that file cabinet too. Happy spring!