Those who know me are well acquainted with my, more or less successful, “art” of multi-tasking. If you are talking to me on the phone, chances are I will be also cooking, vacuuming (“What is that noise in the background?” is a common refrain), reading e-mails, feeding the dogs or whatever else, in my mind, needs attending right at that very moment. Can’t quite remember how I used to sit still before the invention of the cordless phone.

I added “more or less successful” because there are studies that indicate that when the brain is focussed on more than one activity at a time it becomes less productive and will lead you to more mistakes. Possibly but I live with the perpetual feeling at the back of my mind that I don’t have enough hours in a day and I must maximize every minute. And I really do want to talk to you while I do that.

Technology hasn’t helped my quest to be super efficient but it has simply added a layer of more things to do – check e-mails more than once a day, read instant news, scan blogs (and write blogs) – you know what I am referring to.  And to keep all my tasks in check, both at work and at home, I still resort to that time-honored tool that is the List. In my case, a series of lists.

Let’s see. Aside from the shopping list that lives on the fridge to be grabbed every time I run out of something, there is the list of outstanding household chores, tagged in the laundry room; the list of phone calls to return next to the kitchen phone; a generic list of things to do or bills to pay sitting on my desk; the list of books I intend to read in my next two lifetimes in a little book of its own on the bookshelf; the list of places to visit, restaurants to check out, exhibitions I will possibly get to in a folder also on my desk; a list of potential blog topics on a notepad next to my computer and, finally, a list of recipes I might want to try if I run out of dinner ideas of my own. That is just home. I will spare you the work lists.

It has gotten so out of hand that I recently contemplated creating a master list for all my lists which I then discarded because it sounded ridiculous even to obsessively organized me. At least I don’t have a list of which sheets belong to which room like Martha Stewart does but, possibly, because I don’t have that many rooms to worry about. Still with me?  What’s worse is that, despite the wealth of lists scattered around the house (oh, I forgot the notepad on the nightstand in case lightning or memory strike while I am in bed,) I still forget things. At times I mentally tell myself  to add something or other to one of my lists which I then forget before I reach a pen.

I considered a notepad around my neck but I haven’t come across anything suitably fashionable that wouldn’t make me look like the crazy old bat I am clearly becoming. Suggestions are welcome. The alternative would be to live in blissful forgetfulness. If only I weren’t surrounded by people constantly asking “Have you done/seen/remembered/taken care of…”









Filed under housekeeping

3 responses to “LIST-LESS

  1. postadaychallenge2011
    or try this:
    I have a list, journal and notebook for all of my lists, thoughts, and ideas.

  2. silvia

    1. at work it’s pretty impossible I guess to avoid to be efficient because one of the reasons you’re there it’s because they pay you to be very efficient
    2. at home, tell those who constantly need your help (especially relatives) to become more responsible. As a duty (and we know how seriuos you are when something enters your routine) take a monthly day off, let your brain relax and focus on one thing at a time, take the time to talk to your friends sitting on the couch ( and I’m sure that a couple of them will be grateful to you for not feeling like entering the wind tunnel), walk from one room to another simply doing nothing and focus on one thing at a time for the whole day.this will improve your already admirable efficiency and your ability with all your lists
    3. if it’s available buy a book on creative idleness (not sure of the translation but in Italian it’s ozio creativo) and enjoy it
    4. don’t tell me that all this is bullshit because I remember that once you experienced it (n.2) and your comment was: not bad…..
    5. hey wait a minute is this a list or what? 🙂

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