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