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NewlyNested: Addicted to Lists

As soon as I joined the workforce after college I became addicted to lists.  At first it was the occasional bullet point on post-its all over my computer monitor and then it was a list of daily activities.  My affection for the list developed more when I would take phone calls from my boss and write a list of what they were telling me to do.  This list never carried into my home life until we bought a house.

With our home came all sorts of tasks.  I became obsessed with lists and disappointed that I barely ever could do all the tasks I had given myself.  My husband saw this and thought it was crazy.   He told me to do what I can do and forget this lists.  I listened to him and taking care of our home has become less stressful until the last few weeks, which have been extremely hectic for me.

My husband was playing rugby and ruptured his achilles tendon.  A few days later my mother-in-law came in town to help me take care of him and then a day after that he had surgery.    Now that my mother-in-law has gone back east I have to be my husband’s personal assistant.  I drive him to work, get everything he needs when gets home, and on top of it I still have my life, my work, our house, and our dogs to take care of.

My list obsession has come back.  I panic when I think of everything to do and I jot down the list for relief.  Then when I look at it again I can feel my heart racing, knowing there is no way I can do it all, so I categorize exactly when I will do each item on the list.  Usually I only get half of it done.  A long time ago (before I began making lists) my friend told me he had a list problem and was finely stopping because his lists were always setting him up for disappointment and failure.

My intention is to just be organized, but maybe I’ve taken it to far.  I feel like my lists are creating more chaos now than relief, but I’m a junky.  Should I go cold turkey like my friend did?  He told me how happy he was, that it felt like a weight was lifted from him when he stopped making lists.  And if I stop the lists, what are other good ways to stay organized?

featured image credit: robstephaustralia