Monday, March 19, 2012

No, It's Not Anal Retentive

Every morning but Shabbos I take my first cup of coffee down to my computer and type a To Do list for the day. There, in black and white, is a listing of where I have to go, whom I have to call, what I have to do. If, heaven forfend, something is left over to do from the previous day's list, it goes on to the new list. I use a personal system of bold or underlining or all caps to highlight items that are absolute musts no matter what else happens.

As I complete each item on the list I cross it out. There is something very satisfying about seeing all those crossed out items. And the best part of the list is that there are no panic attacks as I suddenly remember something that should have been done hours ago and there's no time to do it.

Life nowadays is just too full and with too much to do to count on memory alone. I've gotten some good natured ribbing about the list (at least I'm assuming it was good natured) but it works for me and so I'll continue.

I also keep files on my computer with To Do lists for every yom tov. Those files contain cleaning lists, shopping lists, cooking lists, errand lists, menus and notes on how to make things run smoothly, garnered over many years of making yom tov in my own home.

Just when did being organized and following a schedule turn in to being anal retentive? I've a feeling that those who coined the term are also the ones you will find in a grocery store first doing their shopping an hour before Shabbos, or the ones who are paying megabucks in late fees because they just can't seem to pay their bills on time.

Here's a thought--instead of dissing those who are organized and/or use lists to order their days, you might consider joining them. There's a lot to be said for eliminating panic and frustration from our lives, and lists can help with that, especially if you follow them.


tesyaa said...

If it works for you, that's wonderful.

JS said...

Unrelated, but here's a photo collection on an Internet entertainment site showing Jews getting drunk on Purim. What an embarrassment.

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