Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Making The List

I’ve recently admitted to myself that I am one of those compulsive list making people. This is not to be confused with the compulsive list making and completing people. They can actually finish their lists and have something to show off to all their friends. People like me however make the lists but rarely complete them. Hell, half the time we can rarely find them!

I know what you’re thinking, why make lists at all then? Well because if I don’t, you will most likely see my children on a talk show in twenty years being asked “How has your mother forgetting to pick you up from activities ruined your life?” Lists are necessary for the times my memory decides to take the day off.

Over the years though I have learned a few things about list making that have helped me immensely. Here are just a few of them:

-Keep your lists short and simple. The longer the list the less likely you will be to finish it.

-If you look at your list in the morning and instantly feel exhausted, it’s too long.

-Never compare your list to someone else’s. It seems no matter how well we’ve done we always feel like someone else has done better. List envy never leads to any good!

-Worry less about what you didn’t get done and more about what you did. You should feel a sense of pride for your accomplishments not guilt.

Has learning these things guaranteed I will complete my lists? Hell no! Has it helped me finish more of them? Absolutely and better yet, I no longer feel stressed about the things I don’t cross off.

I’m also happy to report that in sixteen years I’ve never forgotten to pick the kids up from something. Well, maybe just the one time but that was before I started making lists and I honestly thought the Hubby Guy was getting them! That one doesn’t really count, does it? Does it??

What things do you make lists for? Feel free to share your stories and tips on getting the most out of list making.

*Originally posted on August 06, 2006 at Dot-Mom.com. Some sentences altered to reflect more of my personality here at LWH*

10 comments:

David said...

The last thing I made a list of was things and people I will need to take over the education world! Watch out; I'm coming!

Tina Rod. said...

Hey, have you heard of "Getting Things Done"? It's a book and a big time organization trend, and one of the things GTD has you do is write the three most important things you need to do on a 3X5 card and that is your "to-do" list for the day (you keep a master list for all the other crap so you don't forget it), and then during the day you work on those three things, and anything else you do, you write on the back of the card so that at the end of the day you can see your crossed off to-do list on one side, and a list of accomplishments you also finished on the other side. Sounds like a great idea, but I keep losing the damn 3X5 cards by 9 am. I'm a chronic list maker too, and like you I can make lists like a pro but I either lose them or never get motivated enough to get on them. I'm better at wandering around and seeing things that need to be done and doing them, except I'm ADD so I tend to start 10 things and wander off. Oh well, we do the best that we can. I do write in my journal every night what I need to remember to do tomorrow and what I did finish today, so I do have that and know where it is.

jafabrit said...

I do a similar method that tina mentioned. I use and index card for each day and it is fairly short. What doesn't get done gets put on next day's list. It keeps me on track, since I tend to get sidetracked very easily lol!

Island Girl said...

I'm excellent at focusing intently on just one or two things that matter to me, and letting everything else go all to hell. I used to think it was a fault, but now I see it as a saving grace.

momof3feistykids said...

You Wrote: "I’ve recently admitted to myself that I am one of those compulsive list making people. This is not to be confused with the compulsive list making and completing people. They can actually finish their lists and have something to show off to all their friends. People like me however make the lists but rarely complete them. Hell, half the time we can rarely find them!"

Whoa! Are we sisters? :-)

Good tips!

Lill said...

It's odd, the more I write and unschool, the fewer lists I write. Must be connected. I like writing lists though. It's soothing. But then, I like writing anything. One of my favorite things is waking up in the morning with absolutely nothing I really have to do. I just make it up as I go along. Of course, I imagine you have a lot of doctor's appts to keep straight. I remember that with Mike, and the lists and the calendar with something written on almost every day. I wouldn't mind making a list of places I'd like to visit though. That'd be a very long list, let me tell you.

Shine On,
Lill

Sara said...

I make lists, too. Lots of little lists. When I make a new list, it goes on top of the old list, and I never look at the old list again regardless of whether or not I completed any of the items.

p.s. You're tagged.
http://motheranarchy.blogspot.com/2007/07/8-things-you-dont-know-about-me.html

Sara said...

Here's a tiny url version of my previous link, since it cut off.
http://tinyurl.com/29vksw

Jane Doe said...

I've taken to writing important things I need to do on my hand, cuz I always lose the list when I write it on paper!

CapCity said...

Hey Jo! It's been a while & I'm overdue a visit here wicha. Hope all's well. Yes, I make so many lists - my latest goal is to stick with them:-)