I plead guilty, I’m in a very serious relationship with lists. I love them. I like them. I’m exclusive with them.
I love them so much, sometimes I make a list of the lists I have to make (I’m not even kidding). As someone once said : “The human animals differs from the lesser primates in his passion for lists”. I can’t help but wonder (Channeling my inner Carrie Bradshaw with this line) : is making list really healthy?
I mean, some days I make a list then I just forget about it. Then I feel guilty because I look at it and remember all the things I should have done and haven’t. And then I feel like I failed my day.
Somehow, what was supposed to be just a reminder to help me get things done (and by things I’m referring to the fact that at one point my to do list was “bloke his number, buy some ice-cream, watch a crappy but romantic movie”) became a list of all the things I didn’t do.
Making list,... is it a way of keeping you accountable for the things you need to do? Or is it a way of writing down your goals and remind yourself of those everyday?
Trying to answer this question is when I decided to change the relationship I have with lists. Yes, I was still willing to spend the rest of my life with them but as a true millennial, I wasn’t ready for monogamy.
So I just took a sheet of paper and drew three lines. I had a column “very important”, a column “important” and a column “who the fuck knows” (because, is it really a project if there’s no f-word?).
Not putting a deadline next to the to do helped me a lot. Because instead of writing “go to the gym today” on my Monday’s to do list, I wrote “go to the gym this week”. And instead of writing “ask for more responsibilities today” I wrote “ask for more responsibilities before the end of the month”. And just like that, it changed my whole perspective.
Instead of feeling a bit like a failure on Monday evening while sitting on my couch, on Friday I remembered I still hadn’t been to the gym. And I went. And then I got back to sitting on my couch because Shonda Rhimes has so many amazing series that I just stopped going out on Friday evenings.
Ever since I quit putting unachievable daily deadlines, I checked almost all the “done” boxes on my list...
...almost because running a 5k takes time… I’ve only been trying for 26 year).
I even created a new list. The list of the 25 things I’d like to do before I turn 30. And let me tell you my friend, I’m pretty sure I’ll rock them.
And if I’m unable to do all of this before I turn 30, I’ll create a new list called “do a new list of things to do before turning 35”. And maybe I’ll even write an article about how not checking all the boxes is also good for your soul. Until then, I can check the first box of my “Before turning 30” list… You know, the one that said “start blogging”.