Making a List and Checking it Twice

Santa makes lists—one for naughty kids and one for the nice. I’m sure he checks it more than twice. The first time I ever encountered them was at my first environmental laboratory job. Lists were used to communicate what needed to be done to all the staff in our section. It was pretty efficient, but in the afternoon, the list changed to include samples that had just been received and were rush jobs. In the course of the job, I began to hate lists. They seemed infinite and a bit like Hell, as the more you crossed things off, the more things appeared.

Time and distance (and a few jobs in between) mellowed my aversion to lists. Then I attended a seminar for writers on how to be more efficient with your time. It involved lists. So I gave it a try, but limited the lists infinite ability to a scrap of paper 3 by 6 inches. I used the back, wrote along the side and scribbled in the margins.

I never accomplished everything on the list, worse I was writing down the everything things that I knew needed to be done. The list actually threw off my routine and things became longer to accomplish not shorter.

Now what was I to do? Keep making lists and eventually adapt to this new paradigm or chuck the list thing.

My dad helped me to decide. One day while visiting with my folks, he mentioned an article about how lists actually harm memory recall. It seems by externally storing memories the brain’s ability atrophies and your innate ability to recall things start to deteriorate.

So now I no longer make lists. Of course, I don’t remember everything either but I can live with that. Obviously, it wasn’t important anyway or I would have remember:D

About Linda Andrews

Linda Andrews lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, Arizona. When she announced to her family that her paranormal romance was to be published, her sister pronounce: "What else would she write? She’s never been normal." All kidding aside, writing has become a surprising passion. So just how did a scientist start to write paranormal romances? What other option is there when you’re married to romantic man and live in a haunted house? If you’ve enjoyed her stories or want to share your own paranormal experience feel free to email the author at She’d love to hear from you.
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4 Responses to Making a List and Checking it Twice

  1. danrshaw says:

    I use lists but in a general way. I don’t get bogged down in the details. Writing details is like writing instructions and I don’t read instructions. I don’t put time limits on my list either. Being retired means there are no time limits except death. LOL
    I don’t think I’ve ever been on the good list. It’s always the naughty list because all I ever get are clothes. Well one year I got a Kindle and that was years ago so I can’t recall what I did good to get that.

    • If you don’t know what good you did to get a Kindle how will you know what you need to do to get a new one?

      • danrshaw says:

        Maybe I just whined a lot till she got me one? That works sometimes. She knows when I start calling her honey and sugar I’m whining and begging and she gives in to shut me up. If I can work a few tears in there it becomes a done deal. Though I never really ask for much. More than likely she realized I go through so many books it was cheaper to get me an Kindle. Plus the only bookstore we have in our town is the shelves in Wallyworld and Food Lion. Not much selection there.

      • pity is an underutilized weapon:D

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