There are a ton of things I need to do right now, which for me, translates into a ton of lists. Which is funny because I have all these lists on my laptop, all these sticky notes, some carefully organized, others not, three deep, so I can’t even read all the lists anyways. Not even kidding. Then there are the lists that get lost because I have too many stickies. Lists I only look at every now and then. Yet I keep going – making more lists, telling myself that one, one day!, I will get it all done.
What, you may ask, are on all these stickies? Maybe calling them all lists isn’t right, because they’re not. When I have time I try to organize them into related things, broken out by what I’m trying to keep track of. But the term sticky notes works too. One, okay, two of them are dedicated to my to-do list. One of the items on this list is to help this list! By that I mean there are some things on my to-do list that never get done, or aren’t going to be done in the near future, so I probably just need to take them off my list so it can be shortened to one. Because honestly, I don’t even look at the first part anymore. My eyes just gloss over and I miss things. Sometimes, because my list is too long for one sticky, things get repeated. Which is great when I actually do them. And less great when it’s there twice, like it’s double-nagging me to get done. So my to-do list isn’t really a great to-do list.
Not to mention the fact that I also like to have a paper to-do list. So everything already gets repeated, and that gets crazy within itself.
I also have a paper list of books to read. You might have guessed this already – I have a list on my computer too. Surprisingly, they typically aren’t the same books. Maybe one or two. Unsurprisingly, I normally don’t consult either of these when I’m deciding on my next book to read. Some books are just like items on my to-do list – books I want to read but don’t actually want to read, so I end up pushing them off. Sometimes for years. And when I finally read them, I wonder why the heck it took me so long to read them, because they’re actually really good.
Other lists have things I try to remember. Places I want to visit, things I want to buy, something I heard that was interesting and don’t want to forget.
Some sticky notes are just quotes I like. Quotes I wrote down to remind me of things, or quotes that I like. Here’s one I picked up on the farm: ‘Cut towards your buddy, not towards your body.’ It makes me laugh just to read it and remember back to that time. Or this one, I saw on a sign in a store when my family and I went to Perry, GA: ‘Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but doesn’t get you anywhere.’
All of these things bog down my laptop screen, sticky notes that are saved electronically rather than flying all over my desk. Things that I will do. One day. Some day. Hopefully soon. And I enjoy marking things off my list, watching the stickies shrink (and then the problem of moving everything to adjust to the new length). But most of the time, before I know it the sticky note has gotten long again, and new stickies come out. I’ve gone 4 deep before, but I try to limit myself to three deep. And who knows – probably in the time that I’ve written this I could have redone my main to-do list. But at least by writing this I’ve gotten rid of a to-do item, which still counts as win in my book.