Sunday, July 30, 2017

List-less equals Lost

After decades of trying, I know, the think system is not a viable method for me for getting anything going, but making a list, that works wonders.  Somehow writing down "laundry," helps laundry get done.  Somehow writing down "upstairs patrol," helps me climb the stairs.  I cannot explain it except to say, if I don't write down vacuum, there's a more than 90 percent chance the vacuum and I will not cross paths.  

Even writing down things like exercise or write, things which I affirmatively need to or want to do, increases the prospect of those things happening.  Not always, but more than I would care to admit.  Otherwise, the day can just sort of get away from me and at the end of it, I can't honestly say what happened.  But if I write the thing down, it gets done, and I remember.  

So I started testing the system, to see if putting down more ambitious things like, de-clutter desk or get through paper work with this list and what do you know, it does. If it worked with putting things down which are self serving, like house cleaning, or de-cluttering or exercise, work on the list, what would happen if I put something else down, like get a column published a year.  Well, I did an analysis, and I've had 27 pieces thus far run in on-line papers.  That's 27 out of 30 weeks, having a column.  

I put read to children, and gave each of the youngest four a slot.  Somehow I found time and it happened on that day. I put say a rosary.  It happened.  I put practice the piano. The same 24 hours that I normally find overwhelming, somehow got everything going if only I wrote the list.  It even worked when I misplaced my calender and had to write it in a spiral notebook, but what never worked, was ever NOT writing it down.

The only one for which it didn't work, was exercise.  My guess is, it wasn't specific enough.  My will to sloth apparently is slightly stronger than my will to obedience to the list.   So I threw down the gauntlet.  I wrote, walk four miles, knowing I normally sluff through three.  It helped. I did three and a half.  

My kids have grown wise to the system too, and they'll put down get ice cream or go to the library, and when they're on the list, you know what, it happens.  I'm hoping they internalize sooner than I did (it took four decades), the power of the list over listlessness, and make their own.  In which case, I'm going to add to theirs...make your bed, read a book, give mom foot rub.  

I'll keep you posted.  

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