A Great Way to Make Yourself Feel Ridiculously Accomplished Without Actually Doing Anything

I’m a list-maker. I make a lot of lists. A LOT of lists. I make to-do lists, shopping lists, packing lists, lists of items I’ve donated to charity… Sometimes I make a list of the things I want to make lists for.

For a list to feel truly satisfying, you’re gonna want a good pen. I like gel pens. Preferably in a variety of colors. (The only thing more anal-retentive than a well-written list, is a list that is color coded.)

You’ll also need to establish your list-making medium. Here’s a list of things you can use to make lists:

*Scraps of paper – I tend to avoid using scraps because I usually wind up accidentally throwing them away before I get the chance to complete my list – or, failing that, transferring unfinished tasks onto a new list. (Which I do all the time.)

*Smart phones, iPads and other digital methods – I tried that for a little while, but it didn’t leave me with the same sense of satisfaction that physically crossing an item off a list gives me.

*Other – My mother uses the backs of envelopes. It’s adorable.

I’m a big fan of the yellow legal pad.

legal-yellow-pad_5

Biggest perk of working at a law firm? Access to an unlimited supply of yellow legal pads. (The assistant who worked here before me accidentally bought the wide-ruled legal pads and my boss hates those, so it’s up to me to use them up. And boy, will I!)

I’ve always been a highly goal-oriented individual, and list-making is great way to organize the multitude of ideas that pass through my head on a given day. The trouble is, my goals tend to be rather…lofty. To an almost ludicrous degree.

Take the list I made on Wednesday…

photo (2)

For those of you with a slow internet connection or small-screened smart phone, I’ll recreate the list here:

  • Finish pilot for TV show
  • Start pilot for TV show
  • Write opera libretto
  • Blog about that time you worked in a ruler factory
  • Learn music for concert w/Brian
  • Learn ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’ because it’s time
  • Submit opera audition applications
  • Apply for more film & TV work
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Clean out the fridge
  • Clean all the things (donate anything you don’t feel like cleaning to Goodwill)
  • Pay bills
  • Pick up dry cleaning
  • Laundry

That was just Wednesday! Did I mention that I also worked nine hours on Wednesday?

Okay, so I didn’t really expect to finish everything on the list. Hell, I’d be lucky to accomplish even one of those things. This could easily be my to-do list for the next five years – at least!

The truth is, I didn’t accomplish any of those things. I was exhausted. And hungry. And the dry cleaners was closed. I am a failure.

That’s the biggest problem with lists. You kinda feel like shit when you have so many unfinished tasks hanging over your head. At least that’s what happens to me.

So I came up with a solution.

When I got home from my very long day and it became evident that my overly ambitious list was going to be left undone, I made a new list. One that was absolutely manageable – even in my depleted state. It looked like this:

photo (1)

  • Eat some food
  • Don’t feel guilty about the fact that it’s take-out
  • Cuddle with the dog (His name is Wallace and he’s adorable. See below.)
  • Watch: Breaking Bad, Dexter, SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy)
  • Go to bed at 10:15pm

photo (3)

Mission accomplished.

I feel better already.

S

One thought on “A Great Way to Make Yourself Feel Ridiculously Accomplished Without Actually Doing Anything

  1. Well for now just a simple hit-counter will do for me. I’m thlriled at what it shows though, looks like I’m getting almost 50 hits a day, which is more than I thought. Must write more interesting stuff for all these visitors to read…

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