Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Writing Practices: On the Beauty of Lists

So yesterday I made a list.

It's a beautiful list.

It contains all of the things I want/need to get done this summer, complete with estimates of how long I want/need to devote to each item.

It includes studying for the Big Nasty Tests and work for my assistantship at the top. But fun stuff is on the list too, as are my creative projects.

It's remarkably lovely to have a list. Before, it felt like the pressure of the unwritten things to do was clogging the artery my motivation was supposed to be spouting up from (sorry, gross metaphor, there).

Anyway, I even pencilled in time for sleep.

It's a lot like a time budget, really. You know how they say that having a budget means you get to spend a certain amount each month for those things on your list? That's how I feel.

Now we'll see if I can do it. That's another story.

But it feels more manageable now that I have a list.


Claire M. Caterer said...

Deborah, I'm a compulsive list maker. And newer technology has only fed this compulsion. I use Post-Its, cute notepads, recycled paper, the Tasks function in MS Outlook, my desk calendar, a nice hour-by-hour time-management tool of my own devising ...

But I do have to remind myself that I rule the list, not the reverse. And I have to be careful not to berate myself when something doesn't get checked off the list in a timely manner. I wish you the best with your list. Keep it in its cage and remind it who's boss occasionally!

Deborah Leiter said...

Hi Claire,

Thanks for the great list advice. Usually I'm only a maker of lists at unusual times--planning big trips, moving, etc.--when my brain is filled to overflowing with things and I need to de-clutter.

This was such a list. No idea if I'll follow it precisely, but it was helpful to clear my head of the worries about whether I'd remember everything I wanted to get done by getting it out of my head and onto paper. It's great for a reference point, but I'll definitely try to avoid letting it own me.