Sunday, 8 December 2013

I have been making

lists. You know the sort of thing I mean? There is a list of things that "must" be done today, this week, before Christmas, next year and a list of presents for the family (all books but...) and a list of what has to go into the parcel for my godchildren, a list of cards that must be sent (all cards that go abroad that is), a list of books and papers I must read within the next few weeks (ready for teaming up with some other research people), a list of people who need Christmas shortbread (mostly elderly and on their own) and yet more lists of other things I need to remember or do - or forget.
I do not write most of these lists down. They just sit inside my mind. I suspect they clutter my thinking but I don't write things down unless I have to.
The Senior Cat makes lists too. He writes his down. I find them on scrappy bits of paper with things like "Monday" and then "t 4 ps" and "h/s 2 spray c/l".  I suppose he remembers what these mean.
My brother-in-law puts long lists into Excel and then prints them off and marks them off as he does them. He is much more organised than my sister who should write lists - and then stick to them.
I don't know what my other two siblings do. They do not live close enough for me to observe them. I suspect my brother writes lists and that my other sister does not. My brother's life would require it at work and his home life is busy enough to need it as well. My other sister has only herself to worry about so I doubt lists loom large in her life.
My mother wrote ruthless lists, not just for herself but for everyone else. The family lists would go up on the fridge, under magnets. There would be different lists for different people and for different events. Things would be marked off as they were done. When the list was complete it would be discarded and a new one would appear. There were always lists - along with the roster of chores.
I know other people who make lists too. My doctoral supervisor was (almost) famous for them. He would walk briskly into his office each morning, sit down at his desk and write a list. There were always the same two words at the top of the page - "make list". When he reached the bottom of his list for the day he would cross the first two words off. "If, I don't do anything else on the list during the day then I will have done that." Right.
But, right now, I have multiple lists of things that need to be done. There seem to be more lists than usual.
Is it time to make a list of lists?

3 comments:

Judy Edmonds said...

I like lists, they help me organise. I have been told that it is essential to make the first item 'make list' so that you always have one thing to cross off at least! So I think he was onto something. For some people written lists make them more productive and reduce anxiety, and I am one of those people. I don't do it so much now, but when my children were little it was a neessity to keep up with everything. My doctor has also encouraged me in the therapeutic use of lists - if you hit a bad spell, make a list of things you *must* do (keep that very short) mixed in with things you would like to do, and feel grateful for anything that gets crossed off. Good luck with your organising!

Miriam said...

Sometimes, when I forget something important, I wish I had made a list. I do make them sometimes.

catdownunder said...

the other thing we have is a wall calendar - I draw that up each year on a very large piece of cardboard and it hangs on the side of a cupboard in the kitchen area...it saves making some lists Miriam.
And Judy, you are a wise human!