Wednesday, July 18, 2007

List of Lists

I've posted before that I like making lists. I think I'm addicted to lists. Family members have joked about my compulsive habit of list-making (oh no! I mentioned groceries!)

A search on this blog for lists results in lots of posts, plus the ones that actually list Seven Things or other lists themselves.

Here is my list of lists:
- Seven Things (every week)
- Ways to simplify my life
- Books to read
- Movies to see
- Goals (short term, long term, gotta get em)
- Work to-dos (at least 2 lists)
- Craft projects
- Home to-dos
- Energy saving to-dos
- Things to give away/go through
- Scientific ideas
- Things I want to do in my life
- Daily overall todo list

I'm sure I've forgotten some. And many are lost in old files somewhere, or old journals and notebooks. Clearly, these lists have gotten out of hand! What is the source of all of this list-chaos?

Lists give me a sense of security and of control. Crossing another item off is satisfying, such a great sense of achievement. At work, a list helps me stay organized and focused. My project to-dos let me do one thing at a time. They help me remember, too.

But then maybe I don't manage and remember things myself, and take time to enjoy the discovery of the moment. Maybe that sense of achievement is false. Maybe that organization and focus are a hindrance rather than an aid to productivity. Maybe I rush through things just to check them off without doing them right in the first place. Maybe I lose sight of what is important in spending my time writing lists.

Maybe what I need is an anti-list. A list of things NOT to do, as suggested here. This will keep me focused better.

But it's not enough. I'll consult the list for what not to do, and check them off, and rewrite the list so that I have a smaller list, and on and on. And imagine having a new not-to-do list each day!

Really, what I need is escape from the list itself. This article is inspiring in this regard. What I'd like is to just have a simple schedule that will remind me of things (right now I use iCal, which works well) like appointments I might forget.

I want to try to observe and remember things I need to do by myself, with no more than one list a day. I'm sure I won't let go of the list completely - it's too much a part of my life. You'll still see my Seven Things on here, and I might make a list-scrapbook or two, and I'm liable to slip anyway. But I'm aware of my list addiction, and like my fashion addiction, I'm aiming to break it bit by bit.

List-related Eco-tip: Save paper - go list-free! If you can't escape your list, at least use recycled or reused paper. Make yourself an instant notepad by stapling together a bunch of used envelopes.


kate5kiwis said...

lol rani.
lists are cool.
i've been having a hilarious convo with My Real Life Friends over here the last few days.
and (unrelated) you would be SO PROUD OF ME. i have been thru nearly MY WHOLE HOUSE decluttering and throwing out and GIVING STUFF AWAY.... X

rani said...

Amazing - I AM so proud! And that conversation has got me laughing out loud :)