I work with a lot of doctors as a health producer. I’m constantly in and our of their offices and operating rooms covering the latest medical news. These highly successful people often have something in common — they are list makers. One particularly organized doctor is Dr. Jennifer Landa. She’s a hormone expert and the author of ‘The Sex Drive Solution for Women.’ She’s my featured list producer this month:
Q: Why do you call yourself a compulsive list producer?
A: I make lists all the time. I am busy doing so many things at once, as so many women are. I have a medical practice and am the Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD during the workdays and of course, I am the Executive Director, Chief Cook, Bottle Washer, official Boo Boo fixer, wife and temptress extraordinaire at home. How could I possibly make it all work without lists?
Q: What do you make lists about?
A: On a day to day basis, I tend to make task oriented lists mostly. I make lists about what I have to get done at work. I make lists about what I have to accomplish at home. Sometimes I have a running list only for one particular day that I entitle “today”, but I have other lists that include longer term projects that must get done, but maybe not today.
I also make fun lists. I keep lists about books I’d like to read, movies I’d like to see, decorating items that I would like for my home, presents I might buy for loved ones and wines that I have tried that I like so I can remember them the next time I am shopping for wine.
Q. How often do you make lists?
A: If it isn’t obvious by now, I make lists all the time. I am constantly updating the lists that I have and when I have new things I am thinking about I just make a new list.
Q: What type of list do you make the most?
A: Most of my lists would be essentially “to-do” lists because I find that I have a lot of things to do in a day. I need to write them all down to keep it all organized and make sure that I get it all done.
Q: How do you make lists? (Handwritten/email/etc)
A: My lists are almost always made on my phone. Actually, I have a big problem right now. I used to have a blackberry and kept all of my lists in the notes section which thankfully syncs to my computer. Well, recently, I have just changed to the iphone. All the other fields of my outlook like contacts, emails and calendars have migrated over, but unfortunately my notes section hasn’t which is totally messing up my lists. I have started over in the notes section on the iphone but without my old lists, it just isn’t the same. Keeping lists electronically works really well for me because then I can just delete, cut, paste or do whatever else I need to do to keep my list current.
Q: How have you found lists help you succeed?
A: My lists are my lifeline. They help keep me organized and on track. I find that if I try to keep it all in my head, inevitably I’ll forget something. Lists also give me peace of mind. If I don’t write a list for something then I feel like the items that would be on the list are constantly turning around in my mind and taking up space that I could be using for thinking about other things, or even, heaven forbid, actually relaxing. Lists are actually a relaxation tool for me. If an item is on a list, then I can relax, safe in the knowledge that I won’t forget about it.
Q: Specifically what was the last thing you wrote a list about?
A: Just before I wrote this, I updated my to do list for today. I scratched off the things that I already accomplished yesterday and added the extra things that I needed to do today. One of the things on the list is to do this post. Now I get to have one of the best satisfactions of writing a list and that is deleting the things that I have finished! Ah, the sweet sense of accomplishment!
Jennifer Landa, MD is a forty-something wife, mother and physician whose friendly, humorous, accessible style has made her a favorite among local women seeking solutions for health issues from PMS, baby blues and low libido, to hot flashes, weight gain and menopausal mood swings. Check out her website for more information.