I'm a list-maker. I do it for a lot of reasons. Obviously, it helps my scattered brain to remember what I need to do from day to day, but just the act of writing something down seems to commit information to memory for me. A lot of stage managers have given over to the fancy new technology and now type their prompt scripts. I'm old-school--I still write my cues in my book long-hand. The simple act of writing them out helps me learn where they go in the book, plus erasing and re-writing something we move during tech rehearsals is easier than opening the laptop, typing a new cue and printing a new page.
At work, I make a daily checklist and insist that my assistant and I actually put check marks beside the tasks we've completed. This way, we don't waste time trying to start tasks the other has already completed and we can keep on-track and share the responsibility. I've met a lot of resistance from different assistants over the years for this, but in the instance that they forgot to do something, they sure were glad I noticed it on the list and did it, thus saving both our butts.
I also make packing lists any time we go on a trip, whether it's to my parents' house for the weekend or to Marcus's parents' house for 2 weeks. You parents know that if you don't have a list, you'll forget something, usually something HUGE, like the baby. (OK, we've never actually forgotten the BABY, but we did forget the pack-and-play once. Thankfully, there was a consignment store nearby!)
Lists are very satisfying because you can check things off, and I love me some check-marks. I walk through the grocery store, pen in hand, checking each item off my list as I toss it into my cart. That way I know if I've forgotten anything. When house-cleaning day rears its ugly head, I make a list of tasks. My trick to getting things done is throwing little rewards on the list between jobs. For instance, in order to earn the right to write this blog post, I had to vaccuum the upstairs, gather the dry-cleaning, sort through the million magazines on my nightstand, dust Dean's room and put our sheets in the washer. I did all that, plus re-stocked the TP supply in each bathroom, switched out my summer pj's for my winter ones (FINALLY) and organized the top of my closet. It felt great to check all those things off my list and really feel like I'd earned a few minutes to sit down, blog and have a Coke Zero.
Are you a list-maker? What sorts of lists keep you on-track?