Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another list

I kept looking at the title of the previous post and thinking But where's the B-list? So here's a list about why I like lists. A meta-list, as it were. (Maybe I can write about mentalists another time.)

1. They help me clarify my thinking. When I write a list I stop rushing and become a little more orderly, I can see the holes in my plans and logic and the places where my emotional responses are silly or overblown.

2. They give me a concrete plan of action. So I can't procrastinate as easily. I can't pretend I don't have anything better to do that watch another episode of.... And I'm less likely to forget a step or an important observation. They help me figure out what to do next and I can prioritize more easily. I know how much I've accomplished with a list.

3. I learn new things about myself. When I write a long enough list, such as those inspired by the lists of 100, I have to dig deep to come up with a complete set. Sometimes I surprise myself with my answers.

4. They help me remember to play.
Because I can set limits on how much I need to do (cross x many things off the list) or I can write a list of playful things to try.

5. They help me move through the world.
Because really, I tend to be fairly scattered in my thinking.

I'm not the only one who writes lists. Listography is a community devoted to list writers; there are many other list obsessed people out there. I'm not as dedicated as many of these folks are, but truly, it is a useful tool.

So, I dare you. Write some lists on wild topics, such as:
- 100 ways you can be kind to yourself
- the ten things you would really like to do next week that aren't work
- your 14 favorite colors and why
- the top three fictional villains and how you would dress if you were them
- seven topics you'd like to write a list about (I'd love to see this one).

You get the idea. Play. I'm list-ening.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer
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