I've always been a bit fan of lists, in fact, if I didn't write things down, I would be in a right pickle because I'm sure I'd forget half the things I'm supposed to be doing. So when I finished work last year, I wrote down a list of things of all the things I wanted / needed to do, because I was determined to remained focussed.
I'm horrified to realise that a year on, some of the same items are still on the list. And although I have achieved many things over the last year, the list has grown rather than diminished.
Some days when I look at the list I feel demoralised by what still needs to be done and instead of it being helpful I feel haunted by it. In an act of retaliation I go off and do something completely different just so I don't have to look at it any more.
So I was interested to read that Peter Jones had had a similar experience in his book, How To Do Everything and Be Happy (see yesterday's post). He recomends lists to the power of three, ie to prioritise the three most important things, write them down, and then chose one things from the list. At least only having three things on the list gives you a sense of achievement as you cross them out.
I've tried this and I do feel a sense of empowerment by being able to cross things off, but I have to admit that I do have a tendency to remember other things which need to be done as a priority and my lists do sometimes grow longer.
Sometimes I wonder if the tail is wagging the dog and I decide to stop writing them at all, but I just can't go cold turkey.
Do lists work for you or do they make you feel like you are living in a mental straight jacket?