Things to Avoid: #1–To-do lists

Let’s just say it outright:  Dagwood had it right.  Got a to-do list?  Take a nap.

My sister is a list-maker; she is capable of making seemingly hundreds of lists and also of making them work to help her live life more happily and efficiently.  Right up until she cannot locate the list, that is.  I suppose the answer is a list of lists, and I may suggest that to her.  Or possibly, I will avoid the whole topic because it brings up the fact that I am absolutely not a list-maker.  Why?

Lists, particularly to-do lists, invariably make me feel totally overwhelmed by all that needs to be done.  Actually, it is not that I do not have to-do lists–more that I NEVER will write them down.  I know, for example, that right now, instead of writing this post, I should be knitting the last dog scarf, fixing the leak in my bathroom faucet, doing the laundry, mending two coats, and etc., etc., etc.  However, as long as they are not in writing (at least where I have to look at the list every second moment), I can roam from task to task in my own sweet time, knowing that eventually, things that need to get done will indeed get done, starting with the most enjoyable–in this case, the knitting.  But when that list is in front of me, in black and white, it seems SO LONG!  There is so much to do that I simply cannot deal with anything, and then you will locate me on the couch with a cat purring on my chest, taking a nap.  Ask anyone–I am a master at procrastination.  I began reading Blondie at an early age–that’s my excuse and I will stick to it.

People who know me well are aware that my house gets very clean when there are things that I need to do that I simply do not want to do.  Top of that particular list was grading, when I still professing.  I would actually clean the refrigerator rather than grade final exams.  Not that I disliked professing–I quite enjoyed it–but the critiquing was always difficult.  It was my view that most everyone in my classes learned something, and just because I failed to write an exam that would let everyone show me what they did in fact learn should not mean they failed.  But that is really another story.

So on my new list of things I will try to avoid, writing a to-do list is number one.  Having created the list and added an item, I can now go off and do something I do not want to avoid.  Where’s that cat?

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