Thursday, February 5, 2009

Here's What I Don't Like About "To Do" Lists

I never used to be a list maker. In fact I prided myself on my great memory - why make a list when you can remember what needs to be done. Usually my list (when I was working in an office) consisted of a pile. If it was in the pile - it needed to be done. If it wasn't in the pile - it was finished. I didn't need a list b/c my "list" was staring me in the face every day.

After I had my first child - my memory was shot. Must have been all the months with not enough sleep and suddenly having to be responsible not only for myself but now another little person.

So now I make lists. And have a stack of "to do" stuff in piles on my desk. I'm afraid that if I don't physically see something waiting to be finished - it won't get finished.

So now I get to the problem of having a list. It's always staring up at me. And it shows me things that I need to do but haven't finished. All the items are never completely crossed off. Can you tell that I'm a procrastinator?

My husband lives by lists. He can make a list Friday night of all the stuff he wants to get accomplished over the weekend - and by the end of the weekend the list can be totally crossed off! And they are not easy stuff on his list - it might be something like "build a piano bench" or "do car maintenance on both cars, change the oil, wash the cars, clean-out the garage, clean-out the gutters, take a walk, and bake a cherry pie."

Some of the stuff I add to my list doesn't even need to be on the list but I put it there b/c maybe I'll do it "someday" b/c they are good ideas and I don't want to forget about them...yet obviously they are not important enough for me to ever get around to doing.

This afternoon I finally crossed one of the items off my list - hooray! And I'm thinking of crossing off a couple of the "good ideas to do someday" so my list doesn't look so overwhelming.

So...are you a list maker? Do you actually do all the things on your list or just transfer the unfinished list from one month until the next?


Heather said...

My stepfather is like your husband--it drives me insane! I personally hate lists and just keep a general one in my head and do the next thing.

Anonymous said...

Up until recently I never used lists. The reason I make some lists now is that I tend to forget like what I should get at the store. Otherwise I do not make or follow lists.

Jennifer said...

I hate to do lists to because I used to always feel compelled to put EVERYTHING on them.

Then just 2 weeks ago, I read some where in the blogosphere, to just make a list of 6. Six things that you know you can get done in 1 day.

I've done it twice now, and it worked! I have a new list making technique. Now, I wake up and make my list of 6 and then get started.