Service of Project Triage & The Value of Lists

March 21st, 2024

Categories: Lists, Planning Ahead, Triage

Lists have always been my saving grace when I have too many deadlines and not enough time whether for work, entertaining or planning a trip. Lists don’t work for everyone—they drove my husband nuts.

My father loved going on picnics, my mom not so much. So that they didn’t arrive at their destination without the tongs to flip steaks on the grill, salt, oven mitt or charcoal my mother referred to her trusty list.

Lists clear my mind and remove distracting thoughts so I can pull off bits of each project like leaves of an artichoke. I currently have a pileup of deadlines. My workspace is an avalanche of notes on little pads. The “must do today” tasks land on one. Priorities of the others are scattershot.

Charts help.

Emails and texts that require responses can pile up at warp speed. The tried-and-true rule still applies, sort of. In the days we worked with memos and letters on paper, we were advised to handle–and act on–a document once.                                         

The feeling of exhilaration to cross off a to-do is palpable. I try to intersperse a few quickies—the downloading of some images or payment of a bill–so that the list can shrink at day’s end.

Do you have techniques to prioritize to-dos so they don’t overwhelm you?

Whether you are planning a celebration, a move, a trip—or a work project–do you find that the things you need to do for yourself are neglected and move from lists day after day? How do you focus and not waste time on anxiety?

15 Responses to “Service of Project Triage & The Value of Lists”

  1. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: If I don’t write it down, something will surely be forgotten!! LOL

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    That too! Go to grocery store for milk and return with everything but!

  3. Francine Ryan Said:

    Francine on Facebook: LISTS ARE MY SALVATION AND SANITY!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    My husband despised them. Handwriting difficult for him due to dyslexia. He counted on his memory with was better than most.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Couldn’t go grocery shopping or run errands without a list! Also, often put post-it notes on exit door handle lest I forget my list!

  6. Nancie Steinberg Said:

    Nancie on Facebook: I make Lists both on my computer and on paper-I find the paper one more effective when I can literally cross off an item when it’s completed ✔️ !

  7. Joan Cear Said:

    Joan on Facebook: I love lists.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    There’s a table near my front door. That’s where I put envelopes to mail and lists. I’m surprised how well I do on the rare occasion I arrive at Trader Joe’s with my list on the kitchen counter. It’s SO ANNOYING though.

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I also save lists on computer. My handwriting, never great, gets increasingly bad the more I tap away on iPhone and laptop.

  10. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Nancie, I too love crossing off accomplished tasks/items purchased.

  11. Hussein Ahman Uttah Said:

    Yeah, I also absolutely LOVE Lists, and I have used them From The Cradle To the Grave, – especially, i don’t know why, – Les Preludes. Is it the way the categories build up to the crescendo?

  12. Martha Takyama Said:

    Lists are absolutely wonderful. The pleasure of checking off what has been accomplished and the guidance from seeing what remains cannot be overestimated. I wish I could get used to digital ones, but messily prefer paper.

  13. Cynthia Hansen Said:

    Cynthia on Facebook: A wise lady said [wish I could credit who] “To be a success, write it down.”

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Like you and others have commented, there’s something wonderful about crossing off a task from a list. I suppose typing “strikethrough” and highlighting a line in a doc does it for some. Not for me.

    Similarly, though off-subject, I used to love playing “one arm bandits.” I’ve never seen the digital ones in person though I have in film or on TV. Pressing something on a board wouldn’t have nearly the impact as pulling a lever did for me.

  15. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Here here! I can’t vouch that it will always bring success, but it will help a person from dropping a ball big time!

Leave a Reply