Lessons Learned: Obsessive Use of Lists

I confess. I love lists. I have lists all over the place—at home and at work. I create lists because:

1. I easily forget what it is that I want to do (or have to do) because I’m running around like a bat out of hell.

2. I get the big picture of what tasks or work that I have on my plate.

3. I can prioritize what’s important and do those first, yet I can still keep track of what I need to do.

4. I get to check or cross off the task to say that I did it—I achieved my goal.

Note: The last one is the best reason.

I have two types of lists at home: one for personal/household tasks and one for writing/author tasks. From each list, I try to pick two tasks to complete per day (more on weekends). This way, I can focus on those tasks instead of worrying about all the other things that I need to do. I’ll get to them later…unless, of course, more items get added to the list and become more important. And yes, I confess that I have added something to my list just so I could check it off! I’ve stopped doing that. Really. I have.

At times I do fall behind and my list gets way too big. I then redo my list and eliminate those tasks that become less important or obsolete. For example, cleaning the fridge. That one’s been on my list for a while. My husband did it yesterday. Oh yeah. Off the list.

And if I don’t accomplish all the tasks for the day, I am disappointed. I check to see why. Maybe one of the tasks took longer than what I had expected or that I refocused and did other tasks that were not on my list but should have been.

Some say I may be a bit obsessive when it comes to my lists, but they do work. When your plate runneth over with tons of stuff to do, I recommend organizing by list(s).

And guess what I get to check off for today….


Who else out there loves lists?


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