The list maker (or how to turn a compulsion into a useful habit)

The list maker (or how to turn a compulsion into a useful habit)

Don’t you hate when you have tons of things to do but you don’t know where to begin? Do you ever feel like you run in circles, wearing out your energy without accomplishing a thing?

Well, I know the feeling very well and, since I am trying to include a writing habit in my everyday life, I spent a few weeks struggling with this overwhelming sensation of ineffectiveness. While I was digging in search of the heart of the matter, I started writing to-do lists.

I always had the habit of writing lists when I was at University. It was almost a compulsion. I had to write down a list of steps, a plan, something I could check to see if I was on track. It helped me a lot so, I thought, why not trying again?

 

to do list
To Do List

Guess what?

It worked!

I started by writing down all my loose ends: stories I started and never finished, the editing of my novel, all the blog posts I want to write, but also the things I have to do for the appartment my boyfriend and I are refurbishing. Everything.

Then I compiled a sort of day by day calendar on a single piece of paper, so that I have two whole weeks in sight, and I put in all the unavoidable tasks: my teaching job, grocery shopping, housekeeping and so on. Thus I could not only visualize each busy moments but also the free ones.

Now that I have a calendar with all my duties and a list with the other tasks, I can organize my free time much better and, in the end, my compulsion turned out to be useful.

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