List Disorder


Another confession. I did not teach my kids organization. Oh, this is so embarrassing.

I am probably about as unorganized as a person can get before they are declared, after many arduous psychological examinations, ADHD or Accumulate Debt Hoarder Disorder. It’s a serious illness and when they thought I had it I was going to start a charity and raise funds with a walk-a-thon at the local mall.  Then I found out I was just borderline ADHD, so forget that.

The cool part was though, I was going to make it a walk-a-thon where all participants wore new outfits! Here was the plan before it was derailed by my clean mental health evaluation: All collected donations would first seed the local economy because all walkers got to shop for and then parade around in wear a new outfit! Whoever wore the best, most expensive outfit would get a prize, like an all expenses paid trip to Hawaii or to a nearby all-you-can-eat cafeteria, depending on how many funds we collected. The rest would go to fund research on a cure for Accumulate Debt Hoarder Disorder.

But I digress. Stay on topic! I’ve discovered a little something that helps me overcome my inherent lack of organization. When I have like, 17 things to accomplish before I need to rip open that package of Top Ramen and put water on the stove for dinner, I need a plan. Certainly at ages 18 and 15 my children are little old to learn new helpful habits from their mother, but as someone important must have said, “Do I still support you? Do it!”

List-making is the antibiotic for my disorganization infection. It is apparently not a new idea, but it was new to me. I mean, who has time to make a list? Knowing that, and being in strong possession of the mom-helping gene I compiled a list for the attention-span challenged among you.

(I am certainly not in that catag I said channe wait the phone is rin what he ran into th I have an appoit  I will tweet th when are you coming home?) People who compile lists should know what they are talking about.

So, from one who knows what not to do, here is a list on what to do in order to make a great list:

1. Get pen or pencil – pen should not be ink-challenged and pencil must have sharpened lead

2. Find clean, unmarked, unwrinkled paper – not a wrinkled, torn corner of child’s forgotten homework assignment

3. Sit down – sitting is preventative (it prevents walking into the next room to find what you were looking for before the list was started)

4. Keep it short/focused – long lists don’t mean a lot will get done, long lists mean a lot won’t get done

5. Keep goals realistic – it’s self-defeating to write “paint livingroom” on the same list as “buy cat food” and “wash grey sweater”

Overall, lists help the over-scheduled among us drill down to what is important. There is so much flotsam in our lives.  I haven’t mastered this last point and that is how I know it is key to creating a successful list.

6. Don’t lose the list.


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