Wednesday, 11 November 2009


I have identified a pattern. I'm pleased. I like patterns.

Thing is, I like the idea of being good at stuff. I want to be good at stuff.

I also like making lists.

So when I'm learning how to do something, I take notes. I make lists. For instance: Lists of things I need to remember / pay attention to when writing a first draft. Lists of things to do when editing. Lists of things to include in submissions. And so on.

So... guess what I have in my New Job folder? Yup. Lists of things I need to remember / do / include in order to be Very Good at my job. It seems so simple. All I have to do is follow my rules, and I will be brilliant!

But there are so many items on these lists. And it's one thing knowing I should be doing these things. I may even know how to do them. In theory. But in practice... well, that's just it. You can't carry hundreds of balls without practice, and lots of it. Which is fine and good and pretty bloody obvious really, but I'm impatient and keep forgetting that just because I've written everything down in a list doesn't mean I can do it all.

I pick one ball up, I drop another.

And then I look at my list and I say to myself, Look at that! Look at that list! It's enormous! How will I ever master those things? It's impossible! I'm rubbish!

And yes, I do think in exclamation marks.

Time to pat myself on the head and say such things as "There there," "All in good time" and "Chill out gel."



Queenie said...

I'm curious - have you written 'head-patting' and 'self-reassurance' on one of your lists?

Anonymous said...

The problem with lists is that they are one-dimensional, flat. Unless you spend a lot of time on them in terms of their ordering, related items are often far apart and therefore don't get related in your mind. Perhaps something more hierarchical would help, such as a tree diagram.

I use mind-mapping quite a lot. There's even free software to help with this. I've been using it for months now and I swear by it (as opposed to at it).

Anonymous said...


goes back to her corner where she is mostly panicking about all the things she has to do rather than Actually Doing any of them....

Megan said...

My trouble is that once the list is made I immediately feel that I have accomplished something and therefore the list subject is done and dusted and it's on to the next. Is there a high-paying job somewhere for well qualified list-makers? Because I really feel that might be my calling...

Anne said...

It's very important to put on the list some things you can tick off immediately because you've already done them. Sounds like a cheat but it isn't. They were things you'd planned to do, and you've done them. It's worth recording.

So I try to tell myself.
Commenting on a blog was on my To Do list today.