It seems as though I cannot get through a day without a list. It wasn’t always like this, or at least not to this degree, but between meshing everybody’s schedules and remembering the minutia of my life, it seems I am chained. It’s even branched out to electronic lists, now that I have my iPhone with me all the time. And Post-It notes – well, better if we don’t go there!
There are online sites dedicated to listmaking, arguments pro and con, tools sold to help make lists. People make money on our need to make lists, on our feelings of inadequacy, on our need to stay in control of our galloping lives. Wiki articles on time management, “Ta Da” lists, blogs on the subject, even whole books written about listmaking and other compulsive behaviors flash immediately out of a Google search on “to do lists”. One book suggests that our lists tell something about us; what we tend to want to write down and catalog is a window on our soul. The one thing I notice most about my lists is that they are all task oriented, and don’t include much for ME. Things I want to do, accomplishments I want to make, experiences I want to have.
I assume everybody has a list of some kind, but perhaps that’s just wishful thinking so I don’t feel quite so inadequate and unorganized. I know, the lists should organize me. So why do they make me feel like I should be able to do without them, if I was a truly organized person? I have a list of what needs to be done today, a shopping list, a packing list, a list for after the weekend, and am starting Christmas lists. Most people wait until they are overwhelmed with things to do and then make a list. I make lists with just one thing on them.
Maybe I need a self-help group. A mentor to call that will just say “no” the next time I reach for a new pad to start a list, or at least make sure I have one thing for myself on each one.
*makes note to find one*