Lists of lists of lists

I love lists. I love making a list and ordering my thoughts. I love setting down a process and executing it thing by thing. I love how lists capture the essence of something that must be done so that all you need to do is look at one word and you know what you have to do. I love that when you start on a project, you make a list as a way to begin. I love beginning and crossing each completed step off the list like little Ta-Dah’s.

I am the consummate list maker. I make lists of lists.  I cross reference things on the lists.

Yes, it gets a bit silly.

And overwhelming. Last week my lists got the better of me. They weren’t getting shorter. They were morphing and growing and taunting me. I froze. I couldn’t do anything even though I knew that if I just did one thing and checked it off the list, I would feel better. But I didn’t.

So I wrote one short list. I titled it: Stuff I need to get done this week. I only wrote five things on it. Writing just five things on it took several tries because the things on my other lists kept trying to sneak on the short list and get done. I had to be ruthless. Five things. Stuff I had to get done this week.

Guess what? I got them all done. Really. I even did two other things that weren’t on the list.


I recommend the short list.

4 Responses to “Lists of lists of lists”

  1. Meredith Davis

    Ah, a kindred spirit. I, too, am a fan of the list. And let’s not even talk about sticky notes . . . but I have not incorporated the “ta-dah” yet. I like that idea. Like there’s something a little magical about getting something done, and crossing it off. But I would argue there’s also something magical about putting things on my lists. There is value in a full day, a full week. Meals to make, clothes to wash, letters to mail, if I can just put myself in a place of gratitude, and not “overwhelm-itude.”

  2. jama

    Reasons to Love Lindsey

    1. Good looking
    2. Good heart
    3. Nice smile
    4. Smart
    5. Makes lists of lists of lists
    6. Can ta-dah like no one else

    P.S. You are on my A-list.