365 Challenge: Day 22 – Lister

Lister: a person who typically enjoys creating a number of connected items or names written or printed consecutively, usually one below the other

When I climbed upon my favorite seat on the sofa this morning, to of course begin drafting today’s post, I was a bit distracted at first. After all, it’s Monday, the beginning to a new week… and I didn’t have a list of tasks or things I needed to accomplish. I suddenly felt a bit worried; how will I be effective this week? And that’s when it hit me… I’m a lister! So I searched for the definition and partially to my surprise (partially of course because I was an English major and I am a writer who should know better, tho I do make-up words from time to time… oh, I am way off topic…), the word “lister” is not real! But how do I describe someone who enjoys creating lists and getting things completed in an orderly fashion in just one word. Hence, I am coining my own term for today: LISTER — and the definition is a compilation of a few that I found for “lists” and “creator.”

We all create lists at some point. And to be fair, I’ll even ignore this generally being a required exercise during school and/or work. I’m strictly talking as a way of doing things in our personal lives.

  • Some people only do it when they absolutely have to accomplish a lot and need a “checklist” to ensure they complete everything.
  • Others create the “bucket list” of things to accomplish before they die
  • And some note items they need to pickup at the grocery store or while out shopping

And we’ve all heard of different types of necessary lists:

  • Phone and Address
  • Birthday
  • Santa’s Nice or Naughty — NO *gif* for you… imagine your own video here!
    • Do you remember this one? We all did this as kids. You write 6 names of something and then count down until you cross everything out except for 1 of the remaining names, and that will be your future, e.g.
      • P = Penthouse
      • C = Condo
      • M = Mash
      • A = Apartment
      • S = Shack
      • H = House
    • And that’s where you’ll live. But you have about 10 categories to tell your future, e.g. spouse, city, job, # of kids, age to die, etc.
    • Please tell me I’m not the only one!!!

But then there are those of us that are just insane about creating lists for everything. Like me!

  • I write lists each morning of what I need to accomplish. Sometimes I put the expected amount of time, the best order to complete, etc.
  • I draft lists for due dates for inane things that only I care about.
  • I create lists to keep track of who paid for drinks / lunch / dinner / coffee so that when I see them again, I know whose turn it is to pay!

What’s common across all these lists? The feeling I get when I scratch off each item and reduce the remaining tasks. Except… I’m excited, not exicted. Who screwed that up below?

I began wondering why people like lists and went to the NewYorker magazine to find out.  For the full article, check out the link below. But the gist of it said:

“The article-as-numbered-list has several features that make it inherently captivating: the headline catches our eye in a stream of content; it positions its subject within a pre-existing category and classification system, like “talented animals”; it spatially organizes the information; and it promises a story that’s finite, whose length has been quantified upfront. Together, these create an easy reading experience, in which the mental heavy lifting of conceptualization, categorization, and analysis is completed well in advance of actual consumption”


So what have I learned about myself today? A number of things. I like lists for the following reasons — in alphabetical order — numbered — cleanly for the eyes to see. Lists are:

  1. Accomplished
  2. Captivating
  3. Categorized
  4. Finite
  5. Numerical
  6. Orderly
  7. Spatial

And therefore it is time to go make a list for this week’s things to do. And my bucket list. I should have one of those. I do not. When’s my due date? PLEASE TELL ME!!!! Or I’ll ask Oprah.



  1. My problem seems to be that when making a list of things to do or take care of, I get such a sense of accomplishment from making the list, I don’t get one thing on the darned list done!!! For me “To Do” is done when the listing is completed! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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