This I Believe

Catherine - Seattle, Washington
Entered on September 13, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of to-do lists. The utter joy the pencil sound gives me of checking a box off my list. The excitement I get when everything is completed, checked, lined through, crossed out, double crossed out, scratched through and done.

I can say without a doubt to-do lists saved my academic life. When I was 14, I entered High school. I watched as the teachers and students neatly organized their papers and materials. Their highlighters, post-its and mechanical pencils made me nervous. Their preparedness, cleanliness, and organization made me sick. I thought myself to be a “free thinker” and just “go with the flow”. I soon came to the realization that my “free thinking” wasn’t getting my homework done. I started to jot down my homework assignments on my hand. I thought to myself “this could work.”

I believe in power of to-do lists not only in the organization sense but in an artistic one. I feel safe to say, I am rarely imaginative. My to-do lists allow me to conquer my life one little check box at a time, and to state myself without any discrimination. My to-do list never laughs at, judges, or criticizes what I haven’t yet finished, just sits and awaits my pencil. What is more powerful then that?

After my homework to-do lists became habit and fairly developed, I started making lists of places I wanted to go, books I wanted to read, clothes I wanted to buy, and goals I wanted to achieve. I felt as though writing them down brought me just one step closer to anything I wanted to do. That is the most powerful use of my to-do lists, they give me hope and determination, they give me the feeling that once I’ve started something I need to finish it, once it is written down it needs to be checked off.