From Mess to Less

If I’ve told you once; I’ve told you a ‘thousand times’… I love lists. Lists are the highlight of my day, the objective truth to an overwhelming morning — my security of accomplishment.

My family knows this extremely well – they can testify to it personally any day.  Any friend of mine will admit their witness to my continuous inclination to make lists.

One friend knows me so well and has heard me rant on and on about my list-making love, that she recently bought me a ‘to do list’ notebook!  I was in my element.

Ten months ago, my do list looked more like this:

Although I love the scribbles (for in all of my cleanliness I find delight in messy writing on paper) it isn’t very concise or conductive to a sense of accomplishment.  In fact, it was probably becoming a little ridiculous in its comprehensiveness. And although being comprehensive is a really important skill, if a to do list gets too long, it only makes me feel unproductive and stressed, taking the pleasure out of the jobs I have to do. Lately I have been writing smaller lists as to not overwhelm me and help me see that I am accomplishing things.  So this cheerful, small notebook is just the bees’ knees for me!  After all, what is the point of doing things if I can’t enjoy them along the way?!

So tell me… do you find ‘to do lists’ helpful?  What happens when you use them?  Do your lists get longer or shorter, and are your lists keeping you happy or adding stress?


4 thoughts on “From Mess to Less

  1. Hey Jess!

    Thanks for your comment, sorry I am just now getting back to you. 🙂 As you very well can see, I haven’t been blogging in about two months. That is, I haven’t been posting on my blog. I’ve been reading yours faithfully though! Even though I haven’t commented, I’ve been here.

    Regarding music – playing violin and piano. I’m taking violin lessons again after a while of not having a teacher, so that is very helpful! I love my teacher; she is so nice. Only she wants me to practice 3-4 hours a day. Um, sorry, that is just not going to happen. But I’m enjoying lessons with her. Piano… I finally came to the point where I was embarrassed enough with my poor piano sight reading skills to do something about it! So now I’m giving my piano practicing a bit more effort than I have in the past. It’s been fun!!

    Hmmm… Sonatina in G. It sounds familiar – my sis might have played it at one time. I’ll have to ask her. 🙂 Have fun with it!

    Okay, now I finally get to commenting on the content of this post. 🙂 I LOVE LISTS! I thrive on lists. I write a to-do list six days a week. Now, I have to admit, I rarely get everything crossed off (even stuff I’m really supposed to get done every day), but it really helps to have it all there in front of me so I can see what I need to get done and how I’m doing for the day. Plus, I heard somewhere that crossing things off a list releases endorphins. I’m not sure if that’s exactly true or not, but it sure does supply a boost! However, my lists are always in very neat and tidy columns. Your paper was really cool – I can tell you are definitely very organized, but that much scribbling on mine like that I think would just frustrate me, lol! That little book looks nice and neat, much more my style. 🙂

    So. Now that I’ve written you an e-mail-length comment, I have a question to ask you: Would you like to e-mail back and forth? I would be delighted if you would, but don’t feel pressured at all. 😉

    Thanks again for stopping by my blog!!

  2. YES!!! I’m sure you know me well enough by now that I too thrive on lists. 😀 My brain gets “cluttered” and I can’t stay focused if I don’t have everything written down of what I need/want to get done.

    I have a “master to-do list” (which looks just like your 10-month-ago-list btw) where I write up all my goals and “to-dos” (mostly long-term). Then I have a seperate little notepad where I write up more specific things that I want to accomplish or complete DAILY. If I don’t get something done on that day,I just add it to my list for the next day! I can tell you, it DOES eventually get done within three days at least, haha.

    Oh, and I love your Smiggle notebook – I bet you’re having fun with that. 😉

  3. When I had the newspaper I always had a list. I always used an A4 piece of paper and kept it on my desk. I would cross off and add as I went. When I reached the bottom of the paper I would rewrite a new one.

    I still keep lists now but things are a little different. I have two lists happening on my computer at the moment. One is things to do before going to Australia and one is things to do when I arrive! As for life here in Thailand, lists do not exist!

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