I like lists. There used to be a blog with that name years ago, and I was instantly drawn to it. I have always been a list-maker. Yes for the obvious things — groceries, daily tasks, packing for vacation. But also for just about anything else. If I have to think about something, my first move is usually to make a list … and sometimes to make two, to make the dreaded pro-and-con list.
I once made some crazy huge lists. Huge because I wrote them on giant chart paper and hung them up on my kitchen walls. This was years ago as I was prepping for my first knee surgery. I had a lot of things I needed to do to be ready for surgery, to get my house ready for me to be some degree of debilitated after surgery, to get loose ends at work tied up so I could ignore my job for weeks during the first part of my recuperation. I needed a series of lists, one for each area of work. And I needed the lists to be big and in my face, hence the chart paper. My kitchen looked pretty comical. And for a long time. The lists kept growing. I had three lists, but each list had two and then three sheets of chart paper.
It looked crazy, but it also made me happy. I could see my work laid out so clearly in front of me … even as the “work” started to look overwhelming and ridiculous.
I’ve mentioned my list love before, written about my foray into bullet journaling. I am still keeping a journal (and still using my bullet journaling as an excuse to buy way more pens and notebooks than I could ever actually need or use).
Today I started to make a list that started off so normal, so manageable … and then it went off the rails. My list has now spread across eight pages of my journal — two columns per page! I’m obviously out of control. I flipped through the pages tonight, and realized a few things (yes, I’m going to make a list!):
- Sometimes making lists gets in the way of actually doing things.
- I wish there was a magical tool I could be using that would let me take my crazy-long list and instantly categorize and organize it so it looks les like madness and more like a plan.
- If I have this many things on a to-do list, what the hell am I actually doing with my time?
- Do I really believe all the things on this monster list need to be done?
- Is this list so long because I’ve been procrastinating … or have I been procrastinating because I have so many things to do and couldn’t figure out where to start? (In which case, my insane list will actually help me get started?)
Happily, I don’t have any chart paper these days, so my kitchen — and the rest of my house — is safe for now.
It’s the 15th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge!
Head on over to Two Writing Teachers
and see what the rest of this year’s slicers are up to!