Monday, June 20, 2016

List-opia

I'm the kind of person who likes to check things off a list.

I'm not quite sure why that is. Perhaps it gives me a tangible sense of satisfaction, perhaps because I live in a hazy world of dreams otherwise and forget things easily whether done or undone, perhaps it makes me feel like I have not wasted my time on this earth, perhaps because I'm a bit of a control freak... perhaps all of the above? 

In any case, lists work for me. I remember making lists in school - the homework to be done, the craft items to be carried the next day, the chapters to cover each day as part of exam prep. In fact, I like both - the making of lists and the planning therein and the checking things off and the ensuing glow of satisfaction. You see why I identify a bit with Monica from Friends?

Now that I pretty much live on the internet, I even have an app for creating my To-do list. Smirk all you want but when you enter the supermarket and get bombarded by shelf after shelf of products, your senses being assailed by colours, smells, sounds and your mind slowly fogging up with choices, you'll be thankful for that list you made. If I put on my pseudo-science hat, it feels like a bit of temporal displacement - Me from the past takes the hand of present, confused/ forgetful Me and says, "Pasta! That's what you have to buy next." Eureka. And with the app, you don't even have to carry around a crumpled piece of paper like some kind of wide-eyed bumpkin. Not to mention the Pavlovian joy at hearing a little 'ting'every time you check something off the virtual list.

I even find it helpful with my reading. I have loved to read for as long as I can remember. In recent years however, my concentration has taken a leap off the deep end and I often start several books simultaneously depending on whatever catches my fancy. Then I really struggle with books with a slow narrative pace or paragraphs of unnecessary description. Thus while my primeval greed to own more and more books remains intact, the chances of my completing them have dropped quite a bit. Enter Goodreads. On this book cataloging app, I jot down the names of the books I'm currently reading and also check off my progress at regular intervals. It makes me feel more motivated about completing a book especially if I beginning to get a bit bored of it. And now there also a Reading Challenge where my goal is to read 50 books this year. (Despite reading a fair bit more this year, this is easier targeted than done.)

Now let's be clear. Lists are merely an enabler not a superpower. They can't really make you do stuff if you want to be a lazy bum. Trust me I know. There are still several items in my digital to-do list that have been waiting for long in the hope of hearing a 'ting' against their name. Sigh! Procrastination is the enemy of the list-maker.

But hey! Guess why I finally wrote in this blog after ages? *ting*