Are you a list lover? Do you have lists of lists or maybe even books of lists of lists? Personally, I am a bit of a fiend for a list! I love bullet points, ticks, different coloured pens, the odd doodle here and there and I REALLY love a mind map!
Just the thrill of making a list excites me-a clean sheet of paper or a beautiful new notebook and the perfect pen-what’s NOT to love! And as for the ticking off process-oh happy days! I remember a time when life was pretty tiresome for one reason or another and I was struggling just to get through the basic tasks of the day. Someone said to me “make a short list of simple tasks and try and complete one each day-you will feel much better.” Well it worked and now I use lists for all sorts of things but mostly for setting goals and personal development planning.
This week I have been working with a client who has hit a situation of list overwhelm. Although she also sees the huge benefits associated with list making and planning to set achievable goals, she has found that her lists are actually causing her stress rather than giving her clarity.
There are various reasons for this happening, one is connected with distraction, one with procrastination and another with hero syndrome. Sometimes when we are faced with challenging situations rather than grab life by the balls and deal with it, we don’t. Instead we find a million reasons to delay, distract, detract and deflect whatever it is that we really need to deal with.
This particular client has some big decisions to make around her career and job choices-she knows this because this is the very reason that she came to see me in the first place and signed up for some coaching. BUT-instead of applying herself to this she decided to make a long, complex list of things she must do-many of which actually related to things that don’t require any attention right now and one or two that are actually not her goals at all but someone else’s! As well as distracting herself from the real business of the day, my client is experiencing a bit of hero syndrome and feels responsible for sorting out things that actually are not her business.
This pathway is exhausting and will not help her to plan effectively for her goals. She is excited about making changes but has gone away this week to do a lot of decluttering and defining so that she can get back to using list making as a really useful part of the Write Your Life programme.
Are you a list maker? Would you like to know more about how you can use writing to change your life? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org for some free tips and to sign up to my monthly newsletter.