List making life away


I’m a list maker. I’ve always used lists since I was a teenager and decided to write down my life goals. Sometimes I think my mind works in lists. The getting ready for work list, the setting up my art room list, the cleaning up list, the heading out in the car list, etc.

Lately my three main lists have been my shopping list on the fridge, my jobs to do list on my iPad and my bucket list on my iPad. (I also have my bucket list on a website There are also temporary lists that pop up and I put them on my iPad, like the shopping for work list, the things to complete today list and the places to go on holiday list. In the “old days” I had cute little notepads and diaries that I filled with my lists. These days my iPad and phone, linked in the cloud, are my go-to list recording tools. The jobs to do list is the one that is visited most frequently on certain days and there is the possibility of using this list to measure success or otherwise on productivity.

I’ve been wondering how these lists direct my thinking. Yes, lists are crucial for a person whose mind skitters due to medication and illness. Completing items on a list is satisfying and I make sure these things do happen, but does it add unnecessary pressure to have lists? Are there some parts of life that shouldn’t be listed and therefore met with openness rather than predicted on a list?  Are these lists too controlling? Is spontaneity lost? Or does spontaneity equal failure to follow the list? If I am trying to cultivate creativity, does list making discourage flow and unpredictability? Am I being smart by making sure my unreliable memory doesn’t let me down? Does it really matter if I forget things?

To do listDo some people live their lives without ever making or even thinking about a list?

Should I try going without lists? I don’t know if I can. Maybe I can be more strategic about my lists and what I write them for, or should I just keep going with what I’m used to? Maybe I should research it.

Opinions very welcome.


About lisasretro

I'm a 41 year old teacher, single and have one adult son. I'm currently finding a new me and new style of living while learning to manage chronic illness. In short, my mind is over active and my body can't keep up. I love art, retro and vintage stuff, eclectic fashion and travelling anywhere and everywhere. I often also get all caught up in social justice issues, my fave being marriage equality, until it happens here in Aus. Bucket list enabled, hold on tight.

One response »

  1. I love lists and will never give them up. My mind gets so crazy that I refer back (oh, look at that squirrel) to them so I don’t drift. I’ve been using a journal/sketchbook for my lists so I can doodle while I list. It helps clear the thoughts and I’m creating!!! Make your lists fun and celebrate when you check off stuff. You can also journal about these questions – you have the answers inside you! Make a list of your art supplies and what you want to make. I’m with you sista’!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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