I have a thing about lists. That is to say, I like making them and I do it a lot. To-do lists are my favorites; I’m so obsessed with them that I have a fairly lengthy and detailed list of different types of to-do lists. The best one for an evening of homework is B2, otherwise known as Multi-layered Time Block. For a Saturday or any other time when I have several hours or most of the day to get stuff done, I prefer C2, also called Alternating Double Dimensional, although C3, Alternating Triple Dimensional, is sometimes more convenient if I really have a lot to do. Basically, complicated to-do lists work better than simple ones.

A really good list (whether it’s a to-do list or some other type of list) is like a work of art. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to throw together a bad list, but a good one has to be carefully constructed and requires a good deal of contemplation and consideration. Like art, it is something that other people may not understand or appreciate, but the artist/listmaker can take satisfaction and personal pride in a job well done.

Because of my need to make my lists just right, I have a tendency to redo them, even long after I thought they were done. If I get off-schedule from my to-do list, I generally have to rewrite the whole thing. My shopping lists, even if they’re short, often take a couple drafts to perfect. Lists of things that I want to read or write expand so quickly that I have to scrap them and start over in order to keep them relatively manageable. My list of top 100 favorite songs has to be recompiled once or twice a year to keep it up-to-date.

I think that my obsession with making lists comes from a frustration that the world isn’t completely logical and an unrealistically optimistic idea that writing everything down and putting it in the right order will make the world, or at least the parts of it that affect me, more logical. The reason I have to remake lists is that they don’t accomplish that goal adequately. Then I get frustrated and feel like nothing makes any sense, and I have to make a new list in order to make sense of things. In other words, my list-making compulsion is a psychological response to the frustration of uncertainty and unpredictability.

So basically, I’m a weirdo. Now I must go rewrite my to-do list because this took a full ninety seconds longer to write than I had expected.

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