When In Doubt, Make a List

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Sometime the world gets to me. I stress out, panic and occasionally start to freak out. So many responsibilities that sometimes I fall under the weight of it all. And I ask myself, will I ever be on top of this, again? 

I remember one time my freshman year of high school I received my first quarter’s report card and I was failing math, English and French. I literally started to cry because I didn’t see how I was going to pick up my grades.

Although I don’t exactly remember when, I know I started getting better at school when I found out one amazing trick: making lists. 

Agendas and planners are cool because they map out the future in front of you. But just writing in due dates and events weren’t enough to keep me from failing.

I discovered list making was where the money was at. I didn’t know it yet but I had found a gold mine.

Everyday in my school agenda I’d make a list of assignments due. For tests I made lists of topics that would be covered. And after making a list I’d rearrange the bullet points into some kind of priority order.

Fast forward a couple years and lists are STILL my number one go-to method of getting a job done.

Every morning I make a mental chronological list of my day. I’ll figure out what routine I’m going to follow (shower, drive to work or school, tasks that need to get done) and then think of which activity needs a physical list (grocery shopping, assignments due at the end of the week).

Earlier today I realized I’m going to be super tight on my finances this month. Really tight. Then I realized I’m missing a ton of assignments from school. And to top it off, there was no food in the kitchen.

So I did what I usually do when I need some comforting — I went to the closet with the lights off and closed the door. So many things rush through my head like worries, self-scolding, words of comfort.

In about ten minutes my episode was over. I got up, went to my bed and started making a list. I jotted down what bills have to get paid and how much. Did some calculations and mapped out everything. Then I made another list of my classes and what assignments are due for them. My boyfriend and I worked on a grocery list and he took care of that task while I went to school.

So that’s my advice —

When in doubt, make a list.

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