Making a List, Off and On Again

In this world we are broken up into either/or groups. You are either an extrovert of an introvert, a morning person or a night owl, coffee or tea. In reality, you can be both, or one sometimes and the other another time. The exception is I am always an extrovert, but I know plenty of people who straddle the middle line.

I am a middle line straddler when it comes to making lists. I know people who have lists for everything. My husband is one of those people. He has an ongoing master list of things that need to get done around the house. They are not necessarily things he needs to do, but includes things for me and for professionals I need to find and manage. He doesn’t share this master list with me all at once, but parses out suggestions to me when he feels it is safe. I take his suggestions and draw them out based on money, trouble and time, not in that order.

I used to always make lists, back in my filo fax days of keeping a paper calendar, paper address book and paper to do list all in one little leather notebook. Anything I wanted to know about my life was in that little book. Then I got an electronic “filo fax” way before the internet or smart phones. It was convenient because it didn’t get any bigger. Eventually everything went to my phone as my phone got smarter.

The phone is great for my calendar, and my contacts, but not as good for lists because I don’t see them right in front of me. I like that I can make a list on my phone and go back months later and find it, but it doesn’t prompt me to work on that list. Yes, I know there is an app for that, but I am tiring of learning new apps.

Today my friend Christina said she puts everything on a list otherwise it doesn’t get done. For example she even puts “check email” on her list. That would certainly give me satisfaction for crossing things off as I did things.

I realized that for the last few months I have stopped keeping lists because I didn’t feel like I had that much to do, consequently I wasn’t getting that much done. I have found myself thinking of all the things I should have done right before I go to bed, but forgetting about them until bed the next night. This system is not working.

So during Mah Jongg I made a short list of a few things I have been needing to do. After everyone left I got right to working on that list and so far have completed 80% of it before six at night. This is a huge victory.

I think I am going to have to adopt Russ’ master list habit and just start keeping track of everything I need to do and looking at it regularly. Maybe “look at list” needs to be on the list. It will have to be electronic because everything else in my life is, but I think if I make a habit of looking at it every morning I can be more productive. No more straddling the middle line of list making for me.

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