I, like probably every other extreme Type-A person out there, LOVE lists.
I love them so much I make lists OF lists and have a daily checklist or a long list of things to do broken down over a period of a few days. I even put “shower” on my lists, not because I’ll forget to shower, but because I get such joy from being able to cross it off like “yeah, that’s right, I’m super productive and getting things done, because I SHOWERED” as if it’s something people just don’t do regularly. When I don’t get to do everything on my lists or things don’t go as I mentally planned, I become frustrated- mostly with myself, but it affects my attitude and in turn, the people around me.
Since having some time off work after graduation, I have found myself with fewer and fewer lists and just waking up, jotting down three things I need to do that day and then feeling so free and accomplished when they’re done. Some days I have been able to be so relaxed one of those items is just “be positive and love yourself” which is not only a fantastic reminder but I feel great when I actually did that for the day.
Now, as I’m getting closer and closer to leaving for Europe (how is time moving so quickly), I find myself making excessive lists once again. Of course some are necessary like what to pack, what I still need to buy, and any documents I need to make sure I have, but I’m starting to fill up the next few days with a million things I need to do…like shower. Finding myself back in the list life has already made my chest feel tighter and like I HAVE to get everything done NOW or else it goes on tomorrow’s list and thats another thing I have to do tomorrow when I already have a long list for that…including showering.
Having my shorter lists made me feel much more free with my life, but as events come up and I’ll soon have to go back to work, it’s hard for me to maintain. I get such excitement knowing that my life feels so organized when in reality it’s not. Things don’t always go as planned, things take longer than they should, not everything can be crossed off each day, and in the end it just makes me stressed.
Coming to this conclusion has helped me realize that I need to take a step back, slow down, and focus on the big tasks and when those are all crossed off, then see what I can accomplish in my free time. This approach has already proven to me that it works and makes me feel so much better and when I feel better and more relaxed on the inside, I’m a much more relaxed and calm person on the outside.