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.
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.
- 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? Not entirely. 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 fifteen 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. That one doesn’t really count, 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.