We all love our lists. It’s part of what makes us Penelopes. For us, making lists comes naturally – we’ve been making them since we were kids. They’re so much a part of our DNA that we may take the power of the To Do List for granted.
Or, I did. Until I received the following email from a Penelope named Andrea.
Here’s what she said:
I just found your blog and identify so much with “Penelope”! But I thought I would share with you a thought about lists and organizing. I not only love and make lists everywhere but everyone in my family gets one too. Now, I have an awesome husband and terrific kids so they tolerate my list-making, and even occasionally thank me for making them, however, I wouldn’t say they love the lists the way I do.
But, I started making lists for my clients and they are a different story. My “clients” are all homeless, substance-abusing, mentally ill women who are getting out of county jail, and I am a social worker trying to help them get their lives turned around.
When these women get out of jail, they have so many things to take care of – apply for ID, look for a job or housing, get connected with a doctor etc, etc. It can get overwhelming.
So I started “To Do Lists” personalized for each one of them as soon as they get out of jail, and you have never seen a woman so happy. None of them has ever made a To Do list, so it’s a revelation that something so simple can help them so much. But much more than that, I realized that no one has ever cared about them enough to make a list for them.
Anyway, as a fellow lover of lists, I thought you might appreciate hearing that such a simple thing can help change a life.
Now THAT is the power of the To Do List. The power to organize overwhelming tasks, to set out a plan to change lives and, for Andrea to show these women she cares about them enough to help them take the first step on a different path.
Thank you, Andrea, for reminding us never to take these simple lists for granted. And, you can see more about the important work that Andrea and her colleagues are doing by clicking here.