Keep running lists

Posted March 22, 2022 · 1 min read

It's useful to keep a handful of running lists and update them periodically.

This practice is an application of an even more basic principle: it's easier to do many small things than one big thing. Inertia makes it difficult to start a substantial task, and the limitations of what you can remember or accomplish at any given time will impede you from doing that task well.

These are the running lists I keep:

  • Books I've read and books I want to read
  • Bands I've seen perform live
  • Places I've travelled to and trips that I've been on
  • Quotes and excerpts from books or newsletters that resonate with me
  • New things I did each year (I only did this in 2015 and 2021, but I want to make it a habit)
  • Funny things my roommate has said
  • Ideas for blog posts
  • Wardrobe pieces I'd like to acquire at some point
  • Online courses that look interesting
  • Names that I like
  • Books I consider fundamental to the way I understand reality ("bibles")
  • Recipes to try and recipes that went well
  • Gift ideas for friends and family
  • Movies and TV shows that people have recommended to me
  • Things I'd like to do before I die
  • Questions I have about the world
  • and apparently, the running lists that I have going!

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Julia Cooke © 2022