I may have a serious problem. I find that lists are one of the big ways I organize everything in my life. I have all kinds of lists. Work lists, home lists, personal work lists, shopping lists, project lists, lists of lists, errand lists etc. Sometimes I separate my lists to be DM (day job) related vs. personal stuff. But maybe that’s all wrong, because isn’t my whole life personal? I’m still the same person getting the task done. Sometimes I write the combined lists and then write separate lists off of that to add more detail. Often I have weekend lists like a “Saturday” list, organizing my route for errands, any list of items that need to be picked up or tasks I expect to complete. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s part of me being worried that I won’t remember to do everything. Although, I’ve always been quite elephant-ish about stuff that needs to get done and dates and appointments, so I don’t think that’s necessarily it. I think the real deal is that I just LOVE to cross things off my list!!! Aaaahhhh! Gives me great satisfaction in my pleasingly routine life. Now my lists have gotten streamlined. I only cross off an item with a fat black sharpie. If I don’t have a fat black sharpie available upon completion, I’ll cross the item off with another implement, BUT be sure that I’ll cross it off again with the big fat sharpie when I get the chance. Black only. Red means something different. (Yes, I use colored pens and highlighters sometimes too). I have color key codes involved sometimes too. Often I’ll re-write the list if it gets too messy or if I didn’t cross something off correctly. Or even write something extra down that wasn’t on the list that I did just to be able to cross something out. Now, one might say: “Why not get a day-planner?” or a palm pilot or ibook or whatever. Deleting isn’t the same as crossing out. And also, I never met a commercial planner that matched my vision of planning. I don’t like dates on planners because it’s likely that I’ll not do something for a couple weeks and have empty pages. Wasteful. I don’t like planners that don’t have both monthly and weekly/daily charts.
Basically, I have always felt more comfortable customizing. Maybe it has something to do with being left-handed and hating those stupid green scissors that never worked. They weren’t better suited for our hands, just slightly padded! FCOL! They barely cut paper. What were they thinking? “Oh, the lefties are physically challenged in addition to being evil. The might hurt themselves cutting paper more than the other kids.” Argh. Anyway, now I find myself with regular old steno-pad paper lists with no special frills. And I must say, I do like the steno-pads because the pages flip up and over rather than left to right. I hate writing on the right sides of books. The bulky gutter and left pages get in the way of my left-handedness. Sometimes I’ll write in notebooks backwards to avoid the lump, but that always ends up kind of confusing and messy. Ironically, I hate sketchbooks that flip up and over. Just not a fan of spiral binding. Must be regular book binding. Although I still hate drawing on the right side of sketchbooks too. Uncomfortable. Hey! Maybe that’s one reason why DaVinci wrote backwards in his notebooks (other than secrecy). Maybe he was left handed. Anyway, I digress.
There was a great blog that turned into a book that had people submit their lists as fodder for discussion. Enjoy…
Anyhow, I think lists are very helpful in getting the job done and setting tasks each day in a way that is achievable and not overwhelming. They are truly a great way to limit stress in your life. Not waiting until the last minute is obviously important too. A list related mission at the final hour isn’t exactly the greatest idea but I guess it will help in that situation too.
I’m sure psychologists would say that such extreme list making is indicative of a need to control one’s life or something like that. Perhaps. I just realllllllllllly enjoy crossing stuff out. A true feeling of accomplishment. Maybe someday on my headstone I can have my name crossed out too. Otherwise I might roam the earth unsettled.