I am told people are either List Makers or they aren’t. I am a List Maker. Primarily because I have such a poor memory. Lists help me stay focused and on task. I am not married to my lists however. I am very distractible. Just ask my Hubby! But lists help keep me centered and coming back to what’s important to me.
How did I come by using lists? Well of course there was school…lists of homework and “To Do” lists. But that didn’t really give me my list addiction I have now.
I guess it started as a young mom with all the distractibility that comes with that job. I made lists so I wouldn’t forget things. I was so tired some days I couldn’t remember what day it was or where I was supposed to be. Hubby was a young manager trying to figure out his place in the career world and I was a stay-at-home mom. I tried working for a while after we had children, but it did not work for our family and I ended up being a permanent stay-at-home mom.
I received good-natured ribbing from my friends about being a stay-at-home mom. I can assure you, stay-at-home moms do more than sit at home and eat bonbons! It would have been nice if I had the time to make bonbons. But even if I had that time, I can guarantee the girls would have been into them before I had a chance to sit down and enjoy them! (I’m thinking of a particular experience with homemade marshmallows here.)
But lists? They came to my rescue. Menu planning, to do lists, children’s activities to plan and list on calendars…
Maybe that’s where it started. The calendars. I had a real hard time remembering who was supposed to be where and when. I found this lovely Polestar Family Planner calendar that I used for years…until the girls grew up and left home. Now I use their Business Planner calendar that combines home and work.
But the calendar didn’t give me a master list to work from. I found my life overly busy and scattered into different areas with no headway being made in any one area. I decided I needed to organize my life. How?
I read a lot on time management. I looked at different areas of my life and organized each one with one, five, and ten year goals.
Ah! There you have it. The genesis of my lists. All those goals! Totally unrelated to each other. Totally unrealistic…well most of them were. But there they were in black and white.
Following the goals was breaking them into lists of steps to complete. Hmm…
Then I was reading about bucket lists. And watched the movie “The Bucket List”. Another list of unrealistic things to do. Hmm… I think I have a bucket list around here somewhere to dust off. I decided bucket lists are best for the young, the healthy, or the wealthy…at least mine was.
Then I read the book Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber. Suddenly my 20 wishes list appeared. I actually still do one of these every year. They aren’t big wishes. They are aimed at helping me create a balanced life for myself. I have wishes or goals in all areas of my life: spiritual, work, home, family, personal, etc. These, too, are broken down into steps to be worked on week by week or month by month.
Oh, and then there was David Allen’s Getting Things Done, with its action lists, to do lists, etc.
And when I’m burnt out on doing things on my lists? Well I just consult my Artist’s Date list (courtesy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron) or my nurturing list for some relaxing activities to do.
I found a blog the other day that used a list of things to do that make you happy, as a pick-me-up, especially for those suffering from clinical depression. Taming the Black Dog is about clinical depression. This new blog author shares her experiences suffering with the illness. I wouldn’t normally go searching out blogs on depression, but it was part of an assignment in Blogging 101 that sent me this blogger’s way, and I’m glad I landed there. Her experiences give me valuable insight so I can understand my clinically depressed friends and relatives better. Not only that, but finding her and Blogging 101 have encouraged me to make another list…of blogs that are very different from my own to follow and read.
I have just a slight addiction to lists. And when I get tired of looking at my lists in a vertical format, why I just make a mind map (courtesy of Tony Buzan The Ultimate Book of Mind Maps) with all my list elements on it!
Course, sometimes I just play hooky, like now, and don’t do anything on my list…but blog about lists!