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Do you have a List? I don't!

The wise people in my life have always advised me to be organized and making lists is the best way to get started.

However, I don’t make lists and when I do, I lose them somewhere and end up spending more time and effort searching for it and finally, it leads me to tears.

Before marriage, I never understood the value of time. My father always told me how important it is to make use of time and his formula was  'Time is God' but I didn't understand it. Of course, watching MTV and reading books and wandering out with friends is how I spent most of my time.

Now, I realize that if I had been more time-conscious, there is so much that I would love to do with my time. I have a lot of shortcomings as a person but I am very proud about the fact that I work very hard at everything that I do and I utilize my every hour of every day and extract the best out of it.

A normal day is when I just get very busy, going from task to task of what seems important, listening to my inner voice. I try and solve queries that come my way but it takes time and I don't realize that i have spent considerable time with X till its time to get back and focus on my deliverables.

There are meetings, updates, client communication and so many other little bullets that come my way during the day. Oh, I better not forget, I have to make routine calls to my home to check if my three year old has reached from playschool and whether he had a good day. There are times when I get paranoid if he is late. I imagine all kinds of terrible things happening to him on the way and then I just can't focus on my work till I have confirmed he is at home, safe and happy. There are times when there is a family member who is planning a visit so you need to make some calls and find out the time of arrival, things like that, or sometimes, you need to make a courtesy call to a family member who is hospitalized.

Busy as we are, we hardly get to meet relatives but the least we can do is to call and make sure things are ok and if not, offer moral support. In my case, all my relatives are in Kerala so I hardly get to meet them as often as I want to. 

Late evening, as soon as I am at home, I have endless chores to do that can't be listed. I have personal calls to make. I need to check if Adi's homework is due for the next day and whether he has done something about it. 

If not, I have to sit with him and help him complete it, which can take ages! We take sweet time to finish homework, you see, because there are endless questions to answer. I find it easier to answer questions from my team in office than from Adi. 

Well, we do lots of fun stuff too on the spur of the moment. Sometimes, I join him just like that to do some coloring. I like to give him feedback about his style too, not that I am a coloring expert, but i guess you get the drift. 

Other times, we read through his favorite Thumb Thumb Thambi Flower book which he loves me to read out over and over again, followed by the "What Shall I make?" book which we nicknamed as our 'chapati' book. The story is all about Neeraj's mom who kneads dough and he makes different shapes out of it like first a rope, then a snake, then rat and more deadly stuff like LION! The fun part is that I have to roar like a lion till my voice is about to break!

Tell me whether you have a list and how your normal day is spent. Do you want to schedule things differently? How prepared are you in case of an unexpected event? Would you like to talk about it?

Please do. At least, I can learn from it.


prerna said…
Hi swapna,
Yup.. I have lists.. lots of them.. I am one of those that can't function without a list to tick things off from. Writing goals, household chores, things to shop for, everything is on a list and all the lists are in a master organizer:-)
Yup, am obsessive and a listaholic!!
Poornima said…
lissssst...make it n it never works that way.i can understand ur
Susan Deborah said…
Dear Swapana,

Hmm. A tough one that. I do want to make lists and follow them and I stick to it for some time and then forget about lists and then again get to them. Being a full-time research scholar, time needs to be managed quite effectively and more often I find that I don't do that.

Don't worry, you have kindred spirit in me.

Joy always,
Deepthi_Alvares said…
Lists and I; the worst of enemies. Anyway, my day is not as busy as yours. As of now, I don't need the lists:)
BK Chowla said…
For anyone to get organised,it is important to have a list and actually follow it.
It helps.
Shahid Mukadam said…
list, is the last thing that I can ever have...I am the least organized one...probably on this planet

BTW i just noticed u changed r profile pic and ur kid looks really cute
Rohit Dassani said…
Hey....I dont have a list.... actually its hard to keep a list....i do have a phone remainder if that work is very wishing ppl on bthday's, anniversaries etc etc, going to bank,fill-up bills.... rest everything is *on the fly*.
lostworld said…
Your post echoed my thoughts. My entire teenage was also spent whiling away precious time. I'm not married so I guess my life is still more spaced out than yours. But I love to cram as many activities as possible given the limited time :-)

and I definitely don't make lists either :D
Rohit said…
hmm..this one's interesting. Well, I used to carry a checklist with me ..but I forget to check the checklist when the day gets busier and so one day, when I was sitting under a banyan tree,, I got enlightened and decided to call it quits with the checklist as, whats the point in having one when you forget to check it at the first place.
Raji said…
Yeah...I do have lists always and I tick out things as soon as I complete them...When the day ends, I look at it and see how far I have gone...Sometime, the list gets completely ticked and that's when I feel very happy and more satisfied that I spent time wisely that day :)
Smita said…
Story of my life!!!

I always think of making a list of what I have done in a day but for that also I don't get time !!!
Lavanya Sriram said…
I never used to before. But I am slowly getting there. I have found that it helps. At least having a list reminds you that you have a number of things to be done and you tend to want to tick off one by one. It does give you a nice feeling. But the point is, not to get frustrated if the list is not ticked off fast. You have to accept that there will be days when you can get only some (or none for that matter) done and not beat yourselves for it.
Swati said…
I do make lists , esp before travel I make exhaustive lists and use them too. Though i make grocery lists too , but I usually forget to take it along :P

To-do list I usually dont make , but i put reminders in mobile when needed , like to book gas or pay bill :)
pRiyA said…
hi swapna,
what a nice blog you have!
thank you for dropping by and commenting on my posts.
yes, i do keep lists in my diary and i tick them off as i go along. and at the end of it all it feels good to see a whole list of tick marks on the side.
as each birthday goes by, i have realized more and more, the value of time. i cherish friendships with people who make my time with them more interesting and i have no apologies when i avoid people who waste my time.
R. Ramesh said…
Deepthi in a hurry: she said what i wanted to say...Lists and I; the worst of enemies. hey thanks ya friend for passing by:)
Hip Grandma said…
Enjoy motherhood.even if you have to roar like a lion.Time flies.He won't be a child for long.
Escapist said…
I always make a list and then like usually keep it there...

Thank you for all your comments on my blog...

I do love lists..I live by them...I breathe by them.....Sometimes my lists get in the way!

Sandy Toe@shell in your pocket
Shannon said…
I definitely keep lists. I would lose my mind if I didn't! :) I am so forgetful! Hahaha
I never knew that lists can evoke such passionate reactions and now I am so glad I shared my woes with you all. Loved all your responses!

Here are my thoughts:

@Prerna & Raji & Lavanya: Lucky you that you are able to make use of it to organize things so well.

@Rohit Dassani, Poornima, Deepthi and Susan: Same boat situation, thanks!

@BK Chowla, Shannon, Escapist, Shell in Your Pocket, : I agree with your point but the problem is I fail even before I try!

@Shahid: Thanks for the sweet words! We must celebrate the fact that we are terrible at lists.

@lostworld: Happy single, huh? I am really envious now! Been there, loved that, you know what I mean?

Maybe marriage will prompt you to make lists coz there will be endless things to do and no time at all to do it:)

@Smita, @RRAmesh and @Rohit: Thank god, I've got company! I was beginning to lose hope!

@Swati: I forget too. Don't worry, geniuses think alike:)

@Priya: Thanks for enjoying my blog posts and its really nice that you spent enough time to say how much you liked it.

@Hip Grandma: Thank you so much! I plan to do just as you suggested. Keep visiting please. Love you, lots.
Freshly Found said…
I do try to make lists - and I find that when I do - it really helps to get things done. The sense of satisfaction at ticking them off is really good too.
Anonymous said…
Yes and no.. Some times it works and some times it doesnt.

But if I had some one like Adi, I wouldnt even think abt doing a list.
@Freshly Found: Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

@Dilontherocks: What a sweet statement! Here's a warm toast coming your way!
My Life is full of lists :). I have a big board in the kitchen with tasks list. A couple of them at work. I cannot function without them. I will get mad if there is no list to guide me.
seeya said…
Swara. So did you improve on this after all these years? :-) well I'm very bad at time management n take things lightly. Procrastination bring the major challenge. I hv mentioned this mny times in my blog posts.