Casual Letters

Lists and the Illusion of Productivity


I am a list hoarder. Whenever I have a random thought or idea I’ll put it down on my notes app. My notes app is chaos. I’m too lazy to type more than 3 words so when I want to remember something I’ll put down one random word thinking I’ll know what it means later. Then I’ll look back and be like what the heck did I mean by “muffins”? So then I’ll write down muffins again so I’ll remember to figure out what muffins means. It’s a vicious cycle.

I’m very defensive about my lists on my notes app because they are quite embarrassing and frankly they make absolutely no sense. But I continue this pointless process because I feel appeased when I put down the random things that pop up into my head. When anybody tries to look at my lists I will yank he phone out of their hands.

I also make lists most Fridays outlining what I have to do for the weekend. When I make them I also think about how great and productive I’m being when in essence I am getting literally nothing done. I should be using this time to get done what’s on the list. Ah, the illusion of productivity. And when I write down the list I’ll put the most simple tasks on it just so I have something to cross of the list. Put laundry into drawers. Go to friend’s house. Brush teeth. Breathe.

Once I cross off those pointless tasks I say to myself that I’ve got enough done for the day and I deserve a break. I have a bad habit of cutting myself a break after doing literally nothing. So then the weekend goes by and it is Sunday night and the stuff on the list that urgently needed to be done, remains uncrossed.

As you can see I do all these things to make myself feel like a productive person with a stellar work-ethic, but all I’m doing is lying to myself. Yet I continue this every weekend, and I am not about to stop. Cause hey, you gotta got yourself a break sometimes (see I did it again). I’m the kind of person that loves buying new school supplies, but hates actually using. I love to sit at my desk with my computer ready to do some work, but then “accidentally” open up netflix and watch 6 episodes of scandal.

Tara L.

P.S. I also have a planner that I do not do any planning on, but I like to keep it with me to feel like a go getter :).


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