Let’s make a list of lists…

The person I work for loves lists. He thinks lists hold people accountable. I’m not really a list person, at least not at work. I know what I need to do and I do it, if it’s important. If it’s not, it takes a while to get done.

When I started over 9 years ago, he showed me a List of Things That Need to Be Done every day, every week, every quarter, and/or every year. I looked at the list from time to time the first year I was there, but most of the items were no-brainers.

A few years ago, he asked me to print out the list and he added to it (but didn’t remove anything, of course) He gave it back to me. And I threw it in a box somewhere.

A few weeks ago, he asked me to make a List of Things That Aren’t Done, and to update the old List of Things That Need to Be Done.

A few days ago, he said, where’s the List of Things That Aren’t Done?

I said, it’s on the list.

Of what?

Of things that aren’t done.

He wasn’t quite sure how to reply to that.

Yesterday, he said, where’s the updated List of Things That Need to Be Done?

I told him I couldn’t find it yet, so I couldn’t update it.

So where is the List of Things That Aren’t Done?

I told him I did part of it but wasn’t finished.

Why isn’t it finished?

“Because I can’t find the List of Things That Need to Be Done so that I can know what I haven’t done.”

That one actually made him laugh. A little.

I still haven’t finished either list.

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