On the making of lists
Oh, do I love a good list. It’s calming to put down everything I can think of that I might possibly need to get done. It’s as if there aren’t any surprises coming my way in the universe. Nothing like a list to create the illusion of control.
But there is a problem with a hearty list. I never get to the bottom of it. A few things will get crossed off, and then someone will unexpectedly bring in sticks from outside to make a campfire, and I’ll get sidetracked trying to avoid a house fire. Or we discover in the cleaning of the guest bedroom that someone hid apples behind the DVD months ago and a mouse has used that as an opportunity to set up camp.
Or, if I’m at work, other people show up to work and start asking for things and expect me to all work with them and interact and stuff. Outrageous.
So the list languishes. What’s especially depressing is to find an old list in a stack of mail, or with a pile of documents at work. It was so useful, so practical, and now it’s a sad testament of unfinished business from months ago. Those to-do items were so excited to be completed, and now they’re not only undone, they’re obsolete (it’s fun to anthropomorphize the list items, isn’t it? Heightens the sense of guilt.).
Believe it or not, Mary Kay, the late, great, pink-loving mistress of cosmetics, had some very good advice. Don’t put more than six things on a list — you’ll never get to more than that in a day.
Picture of Mary Kay (yeah, I know). Courtesy of clintschubert.com.
So Good Enough is Good is going to subscribe to the Rule of Six. No reason to live with a self-imposed “Hey, you fell short today; way to go, loser!” at the end of every day. Why not set ourselves up for success instead of failure?
And don’t ask why we know what kind of advice a make-up guru gives. That’s a long and sordid tale we’re not going to go into today. It’s not on the list. ;)