Saturday, November 1, 2008

An odd aversion to my obsession

I am an obsessive list maker; always have been. I love making all kinds of lists: to do lists, lists of goals, random things I can't live without. Shoot, I even like making grocery lists.

As I get older and my life gets insanely busier, I rely on lists even more. Each night this week, for example, while in the shower before bed, my mind starts racing with all the things I have to do at work the next day. I get in bed, grab my Blackberry off the nightstand (it's my alarm clock folks, it's not like I'm checking email at midnight...although I am blogging...), and send a to-do list to myself so it'll be in my inbox first thing the next morning.

I'm currently a one-person unit at work, and I am a consultant of sorts to every personnel office in every department throughout the state. It's extremely busy, and once I get to work I don't stop until it's time to go home (and even then I don't often stop). This week I got through a lot of backlog, and yet most of what I completed was not on any to do list.

I had a personal revelation this week. Even though I am an obsessive list-maker, I am also a true procrastinator, and I really do produce great things at the last minute. These two qualities really shouldn't exist together in the same person. Why? Because I realized this week that every task I wrote on my to-do list, I avoided like the plague.

Procrastination wins.

What I also realized was that many of my lists exist not so that I'll complete the tasks on them, but rather to erase the constant whirlwind of chatter from my brain. And I think that's as good a reason as any to make a list.
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