Hey there, Pollywog!
Today I’m going to introduce something I hope will become a regular feature on Persistent Polymath; the Look List.
I’m in the habit of asking myself some tough questions. Questions like what am I accomplishing in this life, and what am I building towards? As someone with a lot of different projects going at once, who’s also prone to self-doubt, answering these questions is no easy task. It can get a wee bit stressful.
In fact, it used to send me into a spiral of shame and self-loathing because, can I be honest? I can be really hard on myself. That’s why I started keeping a Look List. It’s something I recommend to every polymath, and to anyone who’s running low in the self-esteem department.
What’s a Look List?
I’m not the kind of gal who takes things on faith. I crave evidence. A Look List is actual, solid, undeniable proof that I’m doing good things and growing as a person and a polymath.
I got the idea in 2011 when I read a brilliant post about keeping an I Did list for the past year in place of a To Do list for the upcoming one. I called it my Proud Of list, and it eventually became my Look List, as in Look at what I did!
When I took a course called The Obsession Lab with Nicole Antoinette — who is fantastic, if you must know — I discovered that she kept a similar list called the Eff Yeah list. This is the best name I’ve ever heard, but I’m sticking to Look List. If you decide to keep your own list, call it whatever you want.
Here’s how it works:
- Early this year I opened a blank computer document. I don’t have Word, so I’ve been using OpenOffice, which is just as good. And free. But the program isn’t as important as the list, itself — a sheet of paper or the back of an old envelope works, too.
- I divided the list by month. I used to keep one big list, but after awhile it got to be too much. Nicole divided hers by week for the purpose of the course, and since I’m in the habit of recording my income by month, I decided to do the Look List that way.
- Every day I record the things I’ve accomplished, no matter how small. Little steps I’ve taken on a project. Actions I’ve taken that help me thrive as a polymath, like organizing my work space or switching projects when I’m sick of one.
- Because I’m building my overall confidence, I list other, non-polymath achievements, too. Things like doing errands when I don’t feel like it, or taking care of myself emotionally and physically. A polymath-specific list is fine, of course, if you don’t have the same issues.
- I add each item to the bottom of the list, which means every time I want to add another item, I have to scroll through everything I’ve done for the month. This is an important part of the process; it forces me to look at everything I’ve done. Like I said before, undeniable proof — proof that sinks in because I look at it more than once.
Starting this month, I’d like to share the previous month’s list. A lot of things on it only make sense to me, but I’ll try to make them as clear as I can. For now I’ll keep it polymath-specific, but if you’d like to see the other things, let me know — I’ll be happy to oblige.
- Continued putting stickers on up-cycled oatmeal container.
- Put coats of Mod Podge on finished stickered cardboard box.
- Did a ton of pinning, ironing, and sewing on large quilt.
- Made changes to …. section of …. chapter in nonfiction book.
- Made changes to …. section, even though it was exhausting.
- Added the …. idea to the …. chapter.
- Did a freaking ton of work on the …. chapter.
- Tied off a million little thread tails on large quilt.
- Ironed, pinned, and sewed more of large quilt.
- Put quilt away to take a break.
- Made French toast.
- Took a day off the book.
- Updated Pinterests boards on personal account to have categories and descriptions.
- Did a bunch of work on …. and …. chapters. The problems are mostly fixed.
- Tracked down old version of Persistent Polymath blog outline when new one vanished.
- Typed up …. post outline.
- Did some reading at dinner, reading The Lecturer’s Tale.
- Finished two Halloween-themed doll dresses.
- Worked on more ironing and pinning for large quilt.
- Worked on nonfiction book.
- Worked on quilt again.
- Added to …. section of book.
- Did some blogging research through Pinterest.
- Started Pinterest Account for Persistent Polymath.
- Worked on another custom doll re-root.
- Registered my domain name!!!!
- Installed WordPress!!!!
- Started customizing site, adding pages.
- Finished and polished pages after a lot of fussing and fiddling.
- Started drafts of seven posts.
- Seriously fleshed out Where to Start post.
- Replied to four emails; did a mini-consultation on one of these.
- Did yoga.
- Made curry lentil soup.
- Made an icon for the site.
- Added an example to Getting Started post
- Started knotting doll hair for next re-root.
- Posted first blog post!!!!
- Did more stickering of oatmeal container.
- Made a banner for Persistent Polymath.
- Worked more on blog posts.
- Started backup file for finished posts.
- Worked on …. blog post.
- Found a new, better direction for Project Minimaliam post.
- Found three related articles for three different posts.
- Started draft of …. blog post.
And there we have it; my edited Look List for last month, with names of secret projects redacted (for now). Now that I’ve gotten the explanation for the Look List out of the way, future posts will be much shorter.
Now it’s your turn, Pollywog — do you keep a version of the Look List? If not, would you consider trying it for a month? Let me know in the comments or send me an email.