The Poetry of Making Lists

This week’s Discover challenge of The Poetry of List Making caught my attention.

Lists.  They’re much like numbers.  Whether we’re avid list-makers or not, like numbers they define much of everyday life.  As we work towards a goal and define the steps along the way we are in fact list-making the process of how to get to attain our goal.  Lists pin down the details and serve as a focal point from which to start and a place to return for re/direction.  While I have never felt poetic while creating lists I confess any list makes me feel organised, like I know what I’m doing and how I’m going to go about it.

My Bullet Symbols

Maybe there is a poetic quality to how lists evolve.  When my mind is filled with more tasks, impressions, images, and emotions than I can manage the only way to untangle it is to randomly brain dump everything onto a page.   From there ideas can be grouped, prioritised or discarded.  Lately I’ve noticed three very loose categories:  things that must be done; those I intend to do and those that will never get done.


 Spiraldex Time Management Tool


With study and work the most useful list is when I have to stop part way through a task yet want to be able to pick up and continue with as little delay as possible.  I list what I have done, what needs to be done, where to find the resources and how much time I have already spent on the task.  Once these are recorded my mind won’ be distracted by trying to remember where I’m up to. Logging the time I spend on each task keeps my neurotic tendencies in check.  I log time with a nifty template called a spiraldex which I found some years ago.


One thought on “The Poetry of Making Lists

  1. Like you, Linda, I’ve never felt particularly poetic when making a list, but I have felt organized and productive when I finish one and begin crossing off tasks I’ve accomplished. I like your notion of acknowledging that there are things on my lists that will never be accomplished. I struggle against that thought, but on occasion cross out some tasks that belong on the give-up list. PS: I don’t really understand how the spiraldex works to track time spent.

    Liked by 1 person

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