Conquering The List


Historically, lists have never worked for me. I tend to write down many things, check a couple off throughout the day, and then lose the list somewhere. Then I write out a new list, make another barely-there effort at crossing one or two off, and feel awfully proud of myself despite the glaring uncrossed-offness of the dozen other things I never got to. And then, the best part is that I would wake up at 2:30 a.m., suddenly totally aware of the one really important thing I needed to do by the next day (or worse, the day that had just passed) but had forgotten to even put on the list. No more sleep for me!

I got sick of playing that game with myself, so I ditched lists for many years. But now that I’ve started this blog and am obsessing over this procrastination issue I have, I find myself writing out more and more lists. Even if I dodge some of the items on the list, the theory is that I will at least accomplish a few important tasks as a means of avoiding the really scary things I don’t want to deal with.

Unfortunately, the lists I’ve been working through lately look something like this:

Wash dishes
File nails
Write thank you cards
Open mail
Throw away paper
Clean bathroom

Really?? Opening mail is an accomplishment these days? Filing the snaggle-edge of a broken fingernail is worthy of an hour-long gaming break?

Next, I’ll be rewarding myself for harvesting my crops on time in my Oregon Settler game.

No. This cannot be.

So now I have made a new rule for myself. Everyday tedium is no longer allowed on the list. Things like washing dishes, paying bills, and doing laundry are necessities that I can’t avoid anyway and should not count as accomplishments over the avoidable items that I snooze ad nauseum to my own peril. From now on, no back-pats for easy stuff.

We’ll see how long this lasts.


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