Listless

If someday it may happen that a snowstorm hits your town .

You’ve got a little list. You’ve got a little list.

Of the people in your snow chain if the office gets shut down.

You’ve got a little list. You’ve got a little list.

And people who can carpool if your daughter needs a ride.

And grocery lists and Xmas lists, lists of films that made you cry.

And top ten lists and bucket lists of things you mean to try.

And lists of household projects and the things you need to buy.

Lists of guests you’d want at your funeral if you died.

Would one of them be missed? Would one of them be missed?

(Apologies to Gilbert and Sullivan.)

The compulsion to list seems to accelerate with age. Chalk it up to faulty memory.  Nobody of sound mind wants to forget an item on a shopping list that would dictate a second trip to the mall on a busy Saturday. The act of writing things down helps to allay such concerns, that is, of course, if you remember to take the list with you in the first place.  Given all the “scrap” paper, memo pads willingly and generously supplied by local businesses, cork boards and white boards, finding something to write the list on, is never a problem.

Lists qualify as C.R.U.D. for a couple of reasons. One has to do with self-delusion, as if adding something to a list will make it so. There is also the multiplication factor. Lists multiply when you transfer incomplete tasks to newer lists. Contact lists are difficult to maintain as data is constantly changing, so information you are holding on to is often inaccurate. Lists can also compound feelings of inadequacy, a visual reminder of your procrastination tendencies.  Or they can serve as a battleground for marital discord.  Your “honey do” list grows yellow with age while your partner continues to watch what amounts to seasons of playoff games.

C.R.U.D. CHALLENGE:

Technology comes to the rescue yet again. If you restrict yourself to task management on your computer or handheld, at least you won’t be confronting loose pages of things to do everywhere you look. Getting realistic about your limitations, particularly time, may prevent you from taking on too much and thus curb your enthusiasm for compulsive list making. We do suggest that you keep one list: C.R.U.D. you need to purge.

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