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Day 26 – Make A List

Day 26 – Make A List
Day 26 – Make A List

One of the tools I use when my brain is going a million miles a minute is a list. I call it my “Would like to accomplish list” instead of my “to-do” list because my to-dos are never ending. As my sponsor puts it, my inbox will still be full when I die. I will never be 100% caught up because there’s always something to be done.

When I make a to be accomplished list I feel more centered. I make a list of things I would like to do, and then prioritize the items on how important they are. Tonight, for example, I wanted to get laundry done after my meeting, but I ran out of time. Since laundry isn’t a top priority item, I put it off until tomorrow. Now that it’s written down, it’s not weighing on my mind.

When I first got sober, I couldn’t remember anything. My brain was still foggy, I was trying to learn how to live life on life’s terms, and trying to make it through one day while staying sober. Lists came in handy then too. It was a way for me to see everything in black and white, and a way to get things out of my head.

When I had some time together, and I could do more than just go to work and meetings, I started to add things to my plate. More responsibilities. But with those added responsibilities came more things to be done. I needed a way to prioritize my time so housework didn’t fall by the wayside. A way to balance meetings, work, and everything else to be done.

That’s when lists become vital to my sanity. When I start to feel scattered, and I can’t remember which way is up or down, a list helps me get centered again. It also helps put things in perspective as well. When things are rolling around in my head, I start thinking everything is important. I also start thinking that I will never be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done.

But, when I make a list, it’s out of my head, down on paper. I can see everything that needs to be done. The things I thought were life or death don’t seem that important anymore.

So, next time you start to feel scattered, like you have too much to do and too little time, make a list. Number the items in order of importance, or just write everything you need to do. Then, as you go along, cross them off. Put a big line through the items you accomplish. That’s the fun part for me, because when I see that line through an item I accomplished, I know it’s done. Over. I no longer need to worry about it.

And remember, don’t forget to add “fun” to your list of items to accomplish too. Life is too short to take things so seriously.

Originally published February 1, 2017 –

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