I’ve always been moderately proficient at managing several concomitant tasks, but when I reached my limit, I would suddenly slam into a wall of stubborn hopelessness, liberally marinaded in doubt and despair. So I started writing things down, on paper, on my phone, anywhere that I could see the thoughts in front of me. Usually the list would be a lot shorter than it felt in my head, and immediately much more manageable. I would write down how I would tackle each thing, and when, and the weight would gradually start to lift from my shoulders. Checklists are great when you get to tick the items off at the end of the day, but lists of abstract things were also therapeutic. Just writing down ‘I am pissed off at […] because they […]’ felt like my grievances were being recognised, and I didn’t need to worry about them anymore because they’d been accepted. Every so often I would look back up my list and see that the scribblings of yesterday, or even this morning, seemed flippant and often plain irrelevant. I had moved on, and because of the list, I could see that I had, and these troubles could be lost to the ether. It works pretty well.

This blog is the latest list-based self-therapy to have a positive influence on my life. I mentioned at the beginning that I’ve found my concentration waning as this indolent self-doubt wormed its way around my head, yet for the first time in years I have sat down at a computer for over an hour and a half and persistently worked on something without even looking up from the screen. I’ve needed the toilet for the past half an hour at least and I’m painfully hungry, but no way am I breaking this chain of thought…

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