When it comes to making lists, you might think that New Year has the monopoly on that.  But not really, when you think about all the many different lists we live our lives by – certainly there might be a Christmas list; but also a shopping list; a “To Do” list; a bucket list; a wish list; exam revision list etc

Last year I changed a number of my contracts, ending some and starting new ones.  After about a week, it became apparent to me that I needed a list.

So I started a new week with a very long list of almost everything.

After a couple of weeks, it became equally apparent that I needed two lists – one for work jobs and one for personal things which were getting lost in the detail and resulting in a huge feeling of imbalance.

So my 2-list process started, and over the last couple of months has been refined to a system that works well.

The problem with lists is that somehow, you might, like me, suddenly feel tied to that list and the pressure of doing everything on it.

But lists, I think, have evolved for me, into something I class much more nowadays as “a work in progress”.

Creating the list is one thing, of course.  Managing the list is another thing altogether.  Certainly they need to be realistic, both in terms of timescale and items on the list.  But they are also meant to be reviewed from time to time, amended, recreated.  There’s always time to start again.

Over the Christmas and New Year period, I visited family all over the country, and in my head I had long lists of things I wanted to do in each place.  In reality only some of the items on my lists were accomplished.  But that’s OK with me, because there were other things not on my original list that were well worth the diversions.

The important element with any list ultimately is about priorities, and they can change from day to day.  Finding the underlying core contents and focussing on them is the most important part of the process with any list.

Remember that when your next client comes in with a seemingly endless list of issues to deal with.  Or when your own list seems to take over the whole page in your diary or journal.

No, what’s next on my list for today?...........