Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Life as a List Addict

My name is Jamie, and I am a list addict. Generally I have found this to be a plus. When I've directed a show, my lists keep me, the cast and crew clear on who, what, where and when. When I got married, I had lists and lists to crosscheck other lists. A wedding organizer asked me where I had downloaded my forms from. Downloaded? These things stream out of my fingers with ease. It's like my own personal binary code. And, of course, when Shannon found 101 Things in 1001 Days, I jumped on board.

But recently I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed. I've felt like there's so much to do and rarely time to do it. I've been tired and fretful. This morning I knew that I needed to do something to gain perspective and clear my head. So, you guessed it, I made a list. I decided I would put onto paper every single "to do" item that just easily came out of my head, things that were niggling and nagging at me. Anything from getting flea medication for our cats to finally learning in full my first Nia routine.

I had almost 300 items.

This does not include my 101 list or our comprehensive list of jobs to be done on the house, though there is a wee bit of crossover as there were some things that were really pressing on my mind.

It suddenly dawned on me that this list is out of control. Out of control. So, what am I going to do about it?
  • I will make clearing this list of unfinished business a priority.
  • I will not take on any new projects or classes until items on my current list are done or dismissed. (This is a real challenge. I get excited and want to be a part of everything.)
  • While clearing the list, I am not going to beat myself up for only sporadically taking part in the all the things I want to do.
  • I will enlist help wherever I can.
  • I will take an honest look at where I am spending my time, energy and money and remove things I am not wild about.
  • I will remember that I am creating space for the things I truly love and believe in, from building my business to creative time to having fun with those I love.
  • I will treat myself with gentle loving care, making sure I'm getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and not over-compensating with caffeine, sugar, etc.
  • I will have fun and enjoy the process!

It's important for me to remember that I don't actually have to do anything on this list, not a thing. Every item is there because I chose to put it there. One of the very cool things is that looking at this list makes it very clear what my priorities are: my loved ones, my home, my business, my creativity and my self.


Sacred Suzie said...

Prioritizing is so important! This is awesome work Jamie. I stopped making lists because they were making me way more stressed than helping. The only time I do it now is when I go out and worry that I am going to forget things. That's it!

I think it's awesome you know that none of the things have to be done, that is so great and important.

Love the picture of you too! So nice to see you.

Laini Taylor said...

I love that you made a list about how to clear your list. That IS addict behavior!! So funny. I know how you feel, and have been feeling buried by my own list, too. I wish you much luck with yours!

Jessie said...

I had to laugh when I got to the list for overcoming the list problem. Oh yes, I can relate. Actually, I've been struggling with my own list-making compulsions as well. I get frustrated when I end up doing as many things that weren't on the list as were on it....the list is generally too long to begin with, so once I start adding to it (and sometimes not even getting "credit" for it, if it doesn't make it to the list at all!)--I find myself easily overwhelmed. I think sometimes my lists cause me more grief than anything. But the attempt at "mental clearing" is a noble one. Oh--and my most favorite aspect of list making on my blog is crossing it off with html code. ugh--I am such a dork.

ok--so I just finished writing a very contorted comment. Hope it made sense...what it boils down to is: I UNDERSTAND.

krista said...

Now- what about making a list for if you find yourself not adhereing to your list about your list?

You need a list in case THAT happens.


Dan said...

This is hilarious! I can definitely relate to the list problem. I think the worst thing about lists for me is that they make me feel so guilty. My favourite list of all is probably the grocery list. You can tackle every item on that puppy in about half an hour (unless they're out of stock on something).

Hope your lists get shorter and more enjoyable.

melba said...

{First I have to say that at least once a day I write a comment on someones blog and it doesn't take by blogger and I have to re-write it!!!;(}

Back to being happy!!!
Congradualtions on passing your exam!!! Way to go!!!

This morning I am making my weekly list of things to do while I am catching up on all my favorite blogs. How funny that I am reading about list making while writing a list!!! I am a list addict too!

Shannon said...

I'm a list addict too! Wow 300 items. Wow. You have a very busy mind atm and it sounds like you are ready to take it to task!

Its funny, I didn't even notice the list to help with lists. I don't think of it as a list, but as a plan! or guidelines.. hmmm... well it doesn't necassarily need a name as long as it works!!

Great pic too, I know that look! :)

Felicity said...

Dude, Nia routine as in the dance-exercise movement? I've never met anyone else who's even HEARD of it! Do you love it?
(Wandered over via Melba's site)