I know a lot of very organised people who swear by lists. They say that writing everything down they have to do that day helps them stay efficient and organised. And apparently ticking off or crossing out completed tasks is a highly effective form of positive reinforcement. Apparently.
Of course I like the sound of this; I’d love to become a Guru of Organisation and live by The List. It would be wonderful knowing I had everything I needed to do written down somewhere. My poor old brain would be so grateful.
At the moment I write quite a lot of stuff down in my diary, but it’s by no means a definitive list. For example, I have appointments written down at the relevant times on the appropriate days, and a short list of more urgent, date-sensitive tasks such as compare home insurance, sort out MOT for car and make GP’s appointment, on the side.
But there are numerous other jobs that I dare not write down, because if I do they will somehow become more real. And this list is about five times the length of the one that I’ve written down. I’m not sure I could cope with committing these all to paper, let alone working through them all so I could cross them off.
These are things like; wash the car, clear out the wardrobes in our room, wipe down the skirting boards, put together the shelf that is still living in bits in the hall two weeks after I bought it and declutter that cupboard under the stairs etc. All these tasks I tend to ignore until I am confronted by the evidence of my laziness, in not having tackled these jobs any time recently. Then I notice what needs to be done, fret about it for the short period of time that it’s right there in front of me, move on to something else, then forget about it completely shortly afterwards. Until next time.
I’m sure it would not surprise anyone to learn that the jobs that I am most likely to complete are the ones that I have written down for completion by, or at, a certain time. I am also reasonably likely to get items on the non-specific list done. But items on my non existent list, the jobs that I consider to exist only in my brain; they are destined to get sorted only when I can ignore them no longer.
It might not work for everyone, but it somehow works for me.
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