Anal has gotten a bad rap.
If you call someone anal, what does that mean? Generally, it’s someone who is a perfectionist, extremely organized, kinda stubborn…
I don’t know, none of them are really all that bad. Yeah, stubborn can get annoying once in a while, but really, it’s not bad.
Never mind the fact where the concept of being anal comes from (Freud’s psychosexual stages of development) and that there are two forms, anal retentive and anal explosive…(blah blah blah)
I just think everyone else is jealous.
Jealous of accomplishments, standards; perfection can be intimidating.
Most people are not anal, but we all know someone who is. We berate them; make fun of their color coordinated socks, their neat handwriting, focus, and drive. We also make fun of their lists. To-do list especially.
Now why do I care? Well, I’ve been terribly influenced by this attitude and have ashamedly contributed to the harassment. Why the guilty conscience now, you ask?
This year I discovered To-Do lists. They are G-d’s gift to mankind. If I want to accomplish anything, if it’s on my list it gets done. If I don’t make a list, I sit around doing nothing complaining that I’m bored when I really have a million assignments to complete, papers to grade, forms to fill, people to call, food to be eaten. I can have a list of ten items and only two hours, but because it’s on paper I can organize my brain, schedule my time, work faster and efficiently.
I tried to keep this a secret from the world. I know which appearances are important to maintain. So, secretly, I’d make and hide my list. Surreptitiously, I would eagerly cross off each task as it was completed. It felt great. I was empowered; I was doing things. Look, I had lists of items crossed off that I accomplished.
I was also very ashamed of my lists. It’s not so much the list making, but actually following through and completing it. It meant I was anal. I was part of that group of awful unnatural creatures that actually cared about such things. Ouch!! It was a big blow to my self-esteem. But then I realized my ego was too big for this to really affect me. So it doesn’t.
I am now a proud To-Do lister! Yay, for 21st century liberation.
Few tips for making list.
- Always starts off with Make List. You get to cross it off right away, and you feel like you’re making headway right away.
- Write EVERYTHING. From waking up, making bed, eating. It makes your list longer so you feel more important that you have so many things to do, also you get to cross them off fairly easily, which is another artificial psychological boost.
- Refer to it often.
- If you’re really anal, or really unorganized, add a schedule on the bottom, mapping out your day, giving yourself specific time allotments. Keeps you on track.
- If you don’t finish your list by the end of the day, the world is not over. You’ll just have a longer list tomorrow, and long lists make you look efficient, organized and important (as previously stated), so it’s another boost for you. You might even consider purposefully not doing something.