Goals, Lists, To-Do

I like making lists.

Pen for short-term lists, for lists of things “to-do,” for grocery lists, for packing lists, for making sure I don’t forget.

Pencil for the longer-term lists – lists which require careful planning and deserve fastidious, elegant handwriting.  I don’t write these lists in pencil because it gives me the option of erasing goals or items.  Those goals would never disappear – palimpsests would simply be in their stead.

I write out lists by hand.

Seeing my handwriting makes me believe those things listed on the page more.  They are a part of me, they are what I believe in, they are what I stand for, they are what I must do.  The list is a part of me and I am made up of each of those items.

I am a chronic list-maker. Shit just runs better around here when lists are involved.  The house will not fall apart if there are no lists, but if there are no lists, then it is a sure-fire sign that I might be falling apart.

The lists are not a Partner thing; they are totally all about me and my Type-A personality.  The lists help keep me from frittering away my day, my week, my year.  The lists help me keep track not only of what I need to be doing

fold laundry
call airline re: miles
pick up stamps
order food processor
deal with car registration/inspection
make list of office days/research days for this week
begin working on syllabus for spring
plan diss schedule for Feb.

but also what I want to be doing – what the goals are for this year, this month, this week.  The list helps me keep those goals in sight both literally and metaphorically.

More than making lists, I love crossing things off of those lists when I’ve accomplished them.

About OneGoneTwo

bioethicist, cultural studies, literature, and visual cultural scholar, writer, and lover of design
This entry was posted in Struggle. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Goals, Lists, To-Do

  1. I love lists too. Back when I worked in an office, I made a list every evening of what I had to do the next day. It was detailed, even down to things I would automatically do. If you put: 'make coffee', 'turn on computer' and 'check voicemail', then you have three big ticks basically before you even begin the work day. That's the other thing: I always put a little box to the left of the task to put a big tick in. Or a check as I think it might be called where you are.

  2. Rachel says:

    Yes, I too sometimes place things on my list that I know I will be doing right away just to be able to place a line through them – I prefer crossing things off to ticking or checking a box. Perhaps 'turn on computer' should go on my lists as well.

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