Task Manager.

Photo: The Small Object

Like many people I have a great fondness for lists. Lists of books I’ve read, books to read, things to buy, makeup to try, blogs to read, letters to write, things to clean, movies to screen. There are lists all over my apartment – on my fridge, in my day planner, on my phone, in my journal, on my desk, beside my bed…you get the picture.

There is nothing as satisfying as crossing out an item on your list, whether it is something to do or something to buy, showing that yes, I have accomplished something today. Sometimes I make a list of silly, menial tasks, just so I can have the satisfaction of checking off an item. Wake up? Check. Eat breakfast? Check. Shower? Check. Read email? Check. Then, when the sun has set and I am cozy in my bed, I am lulled into a false sense of triumph, no matter how lazy I was that day.

Lists are beneficial because, in theory, they help you get organized. They are a way to write down everything you need to do so that you don’t forget and are forced to take for lunch just the fillings for your sandwich because you neglected to buy bread at the grocery store. But sometimes lists can become unmanageable. It is tempting to have a list for everything – a grocery list, books to read, songs to download, things to buy, places to visit, or a bucket list.

It is also tempting to have too many items on your lists. If you spend the entire day writing out your list and no time completing anything, then what good is it? It is imperative to remember that after you have placed something on a list, it still has to be completed. I can spend hours on Goodreads and Amazon, looking up and investigating books to add to my To Read list but at the end of the day, those hours that I spent browsing and adding? I could have actually been reading something.

And now that I’ve posted this entry, I can cross it off of my To Do list and go on to the next thing.




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