Making a list and checking it twice


I wonder whether I’m avoiding work by making a list or avoiding a list by doing things. I have a lot left to do before I leave for China tomorrow. One of the things I need to do is to make a list for my husband…so he doesn’t forget the things he needs to do while I’m gone. Like mulch the flower beds. And feed the fish. The flower beds will survive but it won’t be good for the fish if he neglects them for 2 weeks. The man will clearly benefit from a list, don’t you think?

Meanwhile my to do list for today is only a few entries long. “Pack for China” was one of the big items. Below that was “refill shampoo, conditioner and face wash bottles”. I’m reminded of a great tip I learned from a friend, but forgot to follow today: Break down the projects into each task to avoid getting lost in the details.
“Pack for China” is too big of a task. I’m still working on that task. I should have made a complete list of everything that needs to go in the suitcase. Then I would know what was lacking as of this moment. Instead, I can tell you that my bedroom looks like the suitcase exploded – clothes and toiletries are strewn across the bed and floor.
I never finished making the list because I started tackling the project. I know better, yet I fell into this common trap. As I began to build the list I began to get anxious about how much I needed to do. Jumping into action helped relieve the anxiety – but that relief was superficial.
Sitting down and writing this post has reminded me that it’s better to take the time to plan. If I have time to write a post, I surely have time to finish writing the list of things to pack!
So, I’m going to revise my list to reflect everything that needs to go into the suitcase. Below that I’ll highlight things I need to do in order to pack (like restock the travel kit). Below that I’ll list the loose ends that need to be tied up before I leave my day-to-day world for 2 weeks (like some e-mails that need to be sent). Finally, I’ll start a list of things I need to purchase before I go (Pringles – a must, Pepto, …) And then I’ll get busy packing.
Are you a list-maker? No? What works for you?
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3 Responses

  1. Who is franngipanni and why is she outside?China again already? I'll be praying for you. You don't bow to anyone do you? We are list-makers. I think Hubby's dependency on lists sometimes drifts into non-productive list-making. But not me. I would suffer from the occasional multiplying sticky notes on my desk syndrome. BFF

  2. @Barbara Our poor frangipani (plumeria) suffers so…it's raining now and she'll be hard to move. I'll try not to fret about her while I'm gone. "China again already?" is exactly how I feel about it, but I'll try to make the most of it. (There will be no bowing. I take heed of the lessons in Daniel.)I'm convinced that effective-list-making is a skill that most be honed. I have good days and bad days. I definitely need to work at this. Thanks for your prayers!

  3. I am blessed to pray for you. Decided to send you a message back via your blog. I love my plants, too. Our children make lists, too. Sometimes that gives me comfort. ;)Hope you are safely there now or soon. Barbara

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