I have been a compulsive list maker for as long as I can remember. Shopping lists, todo lists, aspirational lists, don’t do lists, gratitude lists, accomplishment lists and just miscellaneous lists. I have been successful at various times keeping tract of and completing tasks with the help of lists. I feel freer once a task is on a list. I have recorded it and can refer to it later and I feel confident that I will not forget it. Forgetting is problem and often a real embarrassment. Lists has improved my life in so many ways. Lately I created a list of aspirations and referring to this list has really helped me "focus on what is essential” (one of the aspirations on the list).


Lately I noticed two problems or gaps in the list strategy. First, it is all to easy to say yes to every input (a request to put an item on the list). It matters not rather if it comes from outside my sphere of family and friends, a family request, or a more personal area of responsibility. Some of these inputs are essential but many are not. Saying no to non-essential inputs frees time for the essential. I must do more of this.


This points to the second problem. Time and energy. We only have so much time and our energy levels fluctuate from manic to a flow state to slothful and a couch potato. It becomes so easy to just put more and more on a todo list without consideration of rather there is enough time and energy to accomplish the task. We don’t consider our schedule in conjunction with our lists. I must improve this.