The Evolution of "The List"

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There has always been a list…

When I was younger, it was in the form of a large grid that existed on the side of the fridge. It divided the household chores and displayed the daily responsibilities of each family member: feed the dog, clean the bathroom, fold the laundry, practice piano, etc. It mapped out 7 days x 7 people – this was an organizational feat and weekly project for my mother. To say it was helpful would be an understatement; we would’ve been lost without it.

I started honing my list making skills in my late twenties. Back then they were mostly used to help me focus on goals and project related to-do’s. In my thirties, list making became more a part of my daily routine… I was a mommy, a homeowner and entrepreneur, so there was quite a bit to keep track of… much more than could be easily organized into the little boxes on the wall calendar. So about 10 years ago, I began logging my lists into spiral bound notebooks.

Eventually I purchased a PDA to help manage my daily activities and synchronize appointments, but I still rely on my notebook with it’s handwritten to-do lists, reminders and goals to chart my course and track my progress.

These days lists rule my world and my notebook is indispensable. At times I’m unsure whether this is more reflective of my age or the age we live in. It seems that we are busier than ever (“crazy busy” – to coin a phrase), sometimes overwhelmed and often distracted. I often say “I need a score card to keep up”! I remember a recent situation where I became quite upset with myself because I forgot something really important when I went out of town for a business conference. I started to wonder if I was was losing my edge, and why my list had failed me! However, the reality of the situation was that there were just too many stressors: hurricane rains, school closings, salon appointments, packing and various other preparations which contributed to short circuiting my careful planning. Sometimes stuff just happens… we live and learn, and do our best to keep up.

The other day I was straightening the den and came across a list my daughter had typed and printed. “Aww! What’s this?” I said, feeling so proud – apparently she does take after me! Then I read it… it said (word for word):

1. play a couple of games
2. make brownies
3. watch movie (half)
4. stop movie eat brownies
5. finish movie
6. chillax
7. start getting ready for bed

Underneath the list was a big happy face.

I didn’t have to look in my notebook to know that there wasn’t a happy face at the bottom of any one of my lists… So, I am going to tape my daughter’s list to the fridge as a reminder to make time for some fun stuff. Yep – kids sure can teach us a lot about life.

© 2008 E. Delgardio All Rights Reserved

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About The Author

Elisa

Planner | Designer | Speaker I've been planning for as long as I can remember! When I was younger, I planned birthday parties for my siblings and surprise anniversary parties for my parents. I spent many years in the Hospitality industry and also studied Interior Design. I couldn’t have guessed that my creative and organizational talents would lead me to a career in event planning...seriously! "To love what you do and feel that it matters - how could anything be more fun?" - Katherine Graham

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10 2008

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