If you’ve wandered around this here blog for a little while, you’ll notice that I’m a fan of lists. Maybe a bit more than I should be. For whatever reason, the old-fashioned to-do list has become my go-to method of keeping my day somewhat in order and on track. And when I say “old-fashioned” I mean it – I write it down on paper with a pen and everything, just like the pioneers.
However, one thing I’ve been noticing is that I can tend to pack so much onto that list that it becomes overwhelming. Even writing the list itself can be a harrowing experience as the stress level ratchets up a notch or three with every item I add on to the list.
I think part of my problem is that the positive aspects of lists have managed to join forces with the negatives to team up on me. And I have no one to blame but myself.
My lists are a general list and not in any particular order. I use it as a bucket that I can dip into. When I’m stuck on one thing, I look at my list to see if there’s a smaller item I can knock out quickly as a distraction before going back to the bigger thing. Or it can be a back-up reminder for a meeting.
Trouble is, I can become obsessed with trying to accomplish everything on the list and take a little too much pride in myself when all those boxes get checked.
So maybe it’s time to start prioritizing some of these things or having a tiered list: things that truly need to get done, things that’d it’d be nice to get done, reminders, and then kick whatever isn’t important off the list altogether.
See, my goal isn’t just to become more efficient or even to cut down my stress necessarily (although that’d be pleasant) – I want to slow down. The rush to accomplish tasks is just another way of wasting or outright killing time. As someone who’s noticed how time seems to pick up speed with each passing year, the last thing I want to do is mash the pedal down anymore than it already is.