Banishing the list

For the past year or so at work I didn’t have a “to-do-list”. I did have various notes with reminders of the odd random thing I had to do. For years I had notebooks full of lists – things to do everyday at work (including items I had to everyday, which became habits so I didn’t really need to put them on the list but still did). When I cleared out my desk I brought home five A4 size notebooks full of notes and lists. My work life in list form. I also have various notebooks full of lists that I wrote for things I had to do at home. I found not having a to-do-list at work so much better for my stress levels and made me feel less guilty about not getting stuff done. Surprisingly I still kept lists of home duties, most of which I never got done. Weekends are for relaxing, fun things not cleaning the bathroom.

Then, oddly I started writing lists again when I gave up work. Lists for all the things I wanted to do that day. Of course, I never got everything done and after two weeks I was feeling stressed that I was doing nothing and wasting my time off. I knew, deep down that I had to stop the stress but couldn’t think on how to do this. Then, this article landed on my desk (in a virtual sense) and I realised it was the lists making me stressed. Making me feel guilty about not getting everything done. So, since Monday I haven’t written a list and I feel so much better for it. All I do now is think of one nice thing I would like to get done that day and just get on and do it. Other chores still get done, amazingly my brain can remember the important items. The less important stuff must mean I wasn’t meant to do them. Monday’s item was to make a drawstring bag, which I did. That had been on my lists for two weeks running without any joy of getting it done. Yesterday, I went food shopping. Today, I went to Ikea (part shopping, part therapy for my agoraphobia) and I was pleased that I did it. Also, got some lovely fabrics to make more bags. Tomorrow, I’m going to paint my toenails and meet some friends for lunch. Also, think of all the paper I’m saving for not doing lists. I can now use them for much nicer creative writings/drawings.

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1 Response to “Banishing the list”


  1. 1 Mike July 27, 2010 at 1:35 am

    Thanks for posting that. Your writing inspired me to focus again on the important things.


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