10 things you only know if you’re a compulsive list-maker

26th Apr 19 | Lifestyle

How do I list thee, let me count the ways…

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There’s something about the simple act of putting things down on a page that feels satisfying, relaxing, and even a little cathartic. From checklist to stocklist, grocery list to a to-do list, a well-constructed list yields a feeling of order that calms the nerves and soothes the senses.

We list-makers are creatures of habit – here are 10 things that all compulsive list-makers know to be true…

1. You always put on more than is realistic

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Sure, 30 items is absolutely reasonable for your Monday to-do list. Unless number one is: “Set more realistic goals.”

2. You add things to your list retrospectively, just so you can cross them off

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There’s something inestimably satisfying about crossing off a completed task, so why should you miss out for doing something too quickly?

If you’re struggling to get through your reading list, just add all seven Harry Potter books. That should crank up your cross count.

3. Notebooks are an addiction

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A go-to for uncertain relatives come Christmas or birthday, from plastic and ring-bound to the finest leather.

The ‘Notes’ app on you phone is a gift from above in time of need, but it can’t replace the simple pleasure of ink on a page. Your desk is probably overflowing with them – if only there was a way you could keep track of them all…

4. You’ll write lists about anything

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No, you probably won’t need an alphabetised checklist of your DVD collection, but why risk it?

5. They are sometimes genuinely useful

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Be it a shopping list or packing list, sometimes it really pays to keep track. You don’t struggle with meetings and agendas, and you’re never the person that realises they left their passport at home just as they’re getting to the gate.

6. You started making lists at a young age

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You were stock-checking your playthings on your mother’s knee, and reeling off the five remaining stages of potty training. When you heard Santa was making a list and checking it twice, you assumed he was doing it just for fun.

7. Filing is really not that bad

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It’s literally just putting things in order – one of life’s great pleasures.

8. You wouldn’t dream of using lists to procrastinate

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An unfounded accusation levelled by people that are jealous of your work ethic. Here’s a long list of reasons why it’s not true…

9. You even write lists for other people

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You pretend you’re doing them a favour – it’s 100% the other way around.

10. Lists about lists are 100% a thing

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Not much proof needed here: You’re reading one.

© Press Association 2019

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