Sunday, May 20, 2012

Make lists, not war

I'm a list person. If you read this blog regularly, you know this and have accepted it. I can't even decide what I like most about lists. Could it be...
  • Marking things off when you're done?
  • Putting everything you need to do in one place so it seems manageable?
  • Using pretty pens to make said lists?
  • Coming up with your own organizational method that only you know when you make a list? For example, I use blocking notation within my lists. Only another stage manager would know what I was talking about.
  • Creating a system? As my aunt says, you gotta have a system. (We call her the General-fitting, don't you think?)
  • Writing something down? You know I love writing stuff down.
Back in March, a co-worker introduced me to Workflowy. It's glorious. Basically, Worflowy is an online list. You can keep everything you need to do in one place and mark things off as you complete them. You can make sub-lists and sub-lists of your sub-lists. Ultimately, Workflowy supports the notion of list babies. The site describes itself as a way to organize your brain. My brain needs lots of organization. If I let it go off on its own most of my life would be like this Gilmore Girls quote:

"My brain is a wild jungle full of scary gibberish. I'm writing a letter, I can't write a letter, why can't I write a letter? I'm wearing a green dress, I wish I was wearing my blue dress, my blue dress is at the cleaners. The Germans wore gray, you wore blue, 'Casablanca' is such a good movie. Casablanca, the White House, Bush. Why don't I drive a hybrid car? I should really drive a hybrid car. I should really take my bicycle to work. Bicycle, unicycle, unitard. Hockey puck, rattlesnake, monkey, monkey, underpants!" -Lorelei

I'm currently using Workflowy to organize some things for work like ideas for the Fall Survival Guide and an idea I have about movie night; blog ideas (for work and for the Island); and some things related to the Virginia move. However, I can't help myself so I also have multiple lists on paper. Actually, that's a lie. I have an entire notebook devoted to my move and the lists associated with it. So if my Workflowy list is the mama list then the notebook lists are the list babies. 

List babies are what happen when you make lists - you start making a list and then you realize that the main list will be unmanageable if everything was in one place. So list babies are born. Let's say you start with a list of chores you need to do this weekend. One of your chores is to go to the grocery. What happens next? You have to make a grocery list. Then you realize that you also need to go to Target because some of the things are too expensive or you can't get them at the grocery so you make a Target list. And then you make another list for something else on this mama list and so on and so on. It's really not that hard to make list babies.

I feel about lists the way I feel about laundry - both bring order to an otherwise chaotic universe. It's possible that my love of lists is also why I enjoy making mix tapes. Ultimately, a mix tape is a list. It's just a supremely awesome list that you can listen to over and over again. Lists make me happy and so does listening to music I love. When I combine the two, well that's just a perfect day (if I'm in a Lou Reed mood) or a lovely day (if I'm in a Bill Withers mood). 

I have a feeling that by the time July 20 rolls around I'll have an entire notebook of list babies. Hopefully, they'll all be marked off and the satisfaction will come from knowing I did everything I needed to do and that I'm on my way to the next adventure in my life. Because you can have adventures and be organized. I promise.

And a Happy 40th Anniversary to my wonderful parents, Joe and Anna! They're off celebrating in Charleston. Hope y'all are having an amazing time!

No comments:

Post a Comment