Anyone who ever said you can never be too organized should spend a day with me.
Sometimes I have so many to-do lists that I think I need a to-do list that says “write today’s to-do list.”
I have homework to-do lists, meeting to-do lists, miscellaneous to-do lists, non-graded homework to-do lists. The list goes on and on. And on and on. And on some more. Not only do I have a copious amount of to-do lists, I go to unreasonable extremes when writing them. The more stressed I am, the longer the list becomes. Some might think this is counter-productive, but I get a great rush of accomplishment when I mark something off of a to-do list. Had a rough week? “Do diff eq homework” becomes “do 1-3 of diff eq. do 5,7, and 11 of diff eq. do 22-25 of diff eq.” That way, I get 3 times the marking satisfaction. It’s a wonderful way to trick myself. But my problems get worse than that.
I sometimes write to-do list items after the fact and immediately mark them off.
Yes, I know, it’s supposed to be a “to-do” list, not an “already-finished” list. But I don’t care. It’s not that I judge my self-worth based off of the length of my completed to-do list… just the value of my day. There’s nothing wrong with admiring a long to-do list that is totally marked off — that is, until you take it way WAY too far. Last semester, I hit an all-time low:
I actually wrote things like “finish blog post,” “take a break to look at facebook,” and “take nap between classes.”
There is no inherent problem with such activities, but should I really be writing them down? And feeling better when I can mark them off? I would venture to say that there definitely is something wrong with this picture. But, I suppose this is a much better addiction to have that some of the alternatives. Do you think University Counseling Services would be able to help me if I asked?
I can only imagine what a counselor would say if I were to ask how to overcome my crippling addiction.
“University Counseling Services. How may we assist you?”
“I’m an addict… I need help.”
“Here, honey, fill this out and a counselor will see you shortly.”
*fills out paperwork, counselor calls me in*
“So, it says here you are struggling with an addiction to… umm.. to-do lists?”
“Yes ma’am. I’ve been fighting it for years. It’s slowly consuming all of my free time. Is there anything you can do to help? Some sort of detox or something? anything?”
(At this point in the conversation, I would be able to see how well the counselors have perfected their poker faces. I sure hope they’ve mastered them. I would hate to have to run away from school or something because a counselor laughed at my very serious organization problem.)
You can use your imagination to finish the rest of the dialogue. I would finish it for you, but it’s time to start working on my to-do list.