Are you a list maker?
I’ve known quite a few people over the years who make list after list…as if they simply cannot function without a list to tell them what to do next. I’ve had coworkers who would use the first 30 minutes of the day to make a “to do” list. The first items would be whatever wasn’t accomplished from the previous day’s list. Still other coworkers would spend the last 30 minutes of the day making their list for tomorrow. Without those lists, they couldn’t function.
I tried using this method of making lists to organize my day. I really did try. But it just didn’t work for me. When it came to work, I actually had an excellent memory. I could remember information about a particular job candidate who applied for a position as a Customer Service Representative in Allentown, PA in 2008 as if it were yesterday. It was a little weird, to be honest. Sometimes I couldn’t remember what I had for dinner the previous night, but I knew why a candidate was disqualified for a job 6 years ago. (Mind you, we dealt with thousands of candidates a month from all over the country.) And my job was so fast-paced! The ability to multi-task was an absolute necessity.
So, no, a neatly organized list did not help me get through the day.
However, I do find that a list helps me on just one case. When it comes time to travel, if I don’t have a list, I don’t know what I’m doing. Whether I’m going to drive somewhere or fly, I have to have my list. Often, it gets broken down into multiple lists.
- The “To Bring” list: I have to write out everything that I need to take with me on a particular trip. This is the general list…clothes, toiletries, drinks, snacks, electronics, etc.
- The “To Pack” list: Now we get a bit more detailed. The items on the general list get broken down into more detailed lists.
- Clothes: Jeans, t-shirts, socks, etc. I’ll even indicate the number of jeans or t-shirts I need to bring. Items are checked off the list as they are put in the suitcase.
- Toiletries: toothbrush, comb, hairbrush, facial lotion, shampoo, etc. Items are checked off the list as they are put in the suitcase.
- Electronics: Laptop, Kindle, phone, chargers, etc.
- The “To Load” list: If I’m driving, this is the list that keeps me on track for what needs to be loaded into the car…Suitcase, briefcase, cooler, etc. I check these items off as they are put into the car.
- The “To Check” list: Just before I leave, I make sure that I’ve checked that all of the windows are closed, that the thermostat is at a reasonable temperature so that the A/C or heater isn’t constantly running, unplug appliances, lock all of the doors, take out the garbage, etc.
If I don’t have these travel lists, I get all screwed up. I end up having to buy things on the road – socks, toothbrush, chargers. Sometimes, I’ll even make a list of the CDs I want to take with me. (I don’t use this list as often since getting satellite radio.)
I’m preparing for a quick road trip. I’ve been working on my lists. I’m pretty sure I have everything covered. I’ve counted the days I’ll be gone and adjusted what I’ll need to pack accordingly. The stuff that is ready to go has been set to the side, near the door. It’s been checked off my list.
So, I’ll soon be fully prepared for my road trip. Directions (as needed) and hotel confirmations have been printed out. I’ll be – hopefully – worry free as I traverse the highways and byways of the United States.
Well, I gotta go. I need to check off “Write blog” from my list.