I was never a list maker, growing up. I just didn’t see the appeal. Lists were not especially motivating, nor did they make me feel that much more productive in the end. That changed once I started working at Starbucks three years ago. Actually, a lot of things changed once I started working at Starbucks. I had never used the word “baseboards” nor noticed if they were dirty until I started working for Starbucks. Now a room isn’t clean til I’ve wiped the baseboards down. I don’t do it that often. Therefore the rooms in my apartment are not really clean. But I digress. I am writing about lists, not baseboards.
Once I became a shift supervisor at Starbucks, I became addicted to lists. When I would work the opening shift, the first thing I would do, after counting the money and brewing the first batches of coffee, was make a list of the things we needed to accomplish that day, and an approximate timeline for accomplishing them (lest I lose track and let the day get away from me). And let me tell you, when I got every item on my list checked off, I left that store feeling like a rockstar.
Fast forward a few years. I left Starbucks a little over a year ago, and I had no reason to make lists at my last job. There was no time crunch, no deadline, not really even any important items to put on the list. So I took a sabbatical. I think I’m back, though. See, I have a baby now. This baby eats at two-to-three-to-four-hour intervals during the day, and I live my life from feeding to feeding. That’s fine, but the word “productive”? It’s largely been missing from my vocabulary and my days, since Eliza arrived on the scene. So I’m revisiting my lost love, list-making, and I envision a boost in my level of productivity henceforth.
I mean, how does one decide which household task deserves attention at this moment, while Eliza sleeps for who knows how short an amount of time? How does one determine the hierarchy of chores? Without a list, I dilly and I dally, overwhelmed by the sheer number of little tasks that need my attention. With a list? Well, Friday we do laundry. And that’s that.