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 http://www.bucketlist.net). 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?
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.