Lists of Self-Proclaimed Productivity


When you think of it…we write all the time. We write to keep organized by writing addresses down in an address book to create Holiday cards. We scribe our handwriting on various forms for medical reasons and we also write lists to keep on tabs of the many tasks that have to be completed throughout the entire day. An endless list, if you will that is like climbing an endless hill.

Did you all hear that? Endless hill! I remember receiving a terrible review at an internship when in high school. One of the remarks was how I tended to take on too much at one time. I thought, ‘Why is that a bad thing? That should show my tremendous ambition! The gumption that made this country incredible and built our infrastructure!” But after a long time has passed, I begin to see the point. Very little gets done when I decide to make a list that seems like it is going to last forever. It is really going to take two weeks to fulfill the expectations imposed upon myself. What was I thinking?

The other week, I began to complete this list task after a long day at the College Experience Program (CEP). Just to get started, it helps to include busy work that may be boring, but does not take a great deal of mental energy or time to complete. For example, one of the things that was quickly crossed off was, “Prepare taffy packages and postcards” because I decided to buy gifts for my family at Wildwood Crest, NJ.” Another task was, “Sign checks and prepare deposit slip for bank.” Impaling a task with a horizontal black marker feels so good. I mean…that is one thing underSTOOD!”

Even though we are fortunate to receive a great deal of support from Living Resources, Inc., we are still very much adults and are responsible for how we may choose to utilize a morning, afternoon, or evening. I have this psychological condition called, “Tempophobia.” By the way, this problem technically does not exist because I simply made it up. There should be a term used to describe people who have a fear of wasting time and are compulsive about making lists to prove they are getting things done throughout any given day. Perhaps this will work for us and we should use this term in psychology books.

When a list has been completed it is my practice to tape it on the wall of my apartment just like a trophy. Maybe you should try this in your room if you have the permission of your Living Resources staff. Once in a while, you should put something on the list that is fun. Another tactic that works is to repeat to yourself, “My job right now is…” One time I had a bad morning after sleeping over at the house of an autism advocate. Unfortunately, I had put too much on my schedule with the public speaking career and was starting to go a little bit nuts. I said, “What am I going to do? I have to be in Connecticut then New York City. And I have to fill out so many book orders. I have not had a day off in months!” Stacey merely said, “Your job right now is to finish packing your suitcase and shave.” I asked, “What are you talking about, you red-headed icon of awesomeness!” I just told you about all the things that I have to do this month. Stacey repeated herself. And then I finally began to understand what she was saying. The tiniest accomplishments must always be exalted to the stars!

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