Making Lists
How often do you make lists? Do you make a shopping list when you go shopping? Why don't some people like making lists? Do you prefer to make lists on paper or on your phone?
Vocabulary
  • To fly by the seat of your pants (idiom) - to do something difficult without the necessary skill or experience (like to pilot an aircraft without the aid of instruments and without a flight plan, using only instinct, visual observation, and practical judgment)
  • Tick (noun) - a mark (✓) that shows that something is correct or has been done.
  • To crop up (phrasal verb) - to happen or appear unexpectedly.
  • To carry smth over (phrasal verb) - to use or do something at a later time than planned.
  • To thrive (verb) - to grow, develop, or be successful.
  • To cramp (verb) - to limit someone, especially to prevent them from enjoying a full life.
  • The merits of smth (noun) - the advantages something has compared to something else.
  • Portable (adj.) - light and small enough to be easily carried or moved.
  • Go-to (adj.) - used to describe the best person, thing, or place for a particular purpose or need.
Questions and answers
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Maria: Rory, do you like making lists?

Rory: Oh, I love it! It brings order to the chaos of life and it makes it easier to work out what you need to do rather than just flying by the seat of your pants, I suppose. I think making lists is one of my favorite things to do, for sure.

Maria: How often do you make lists?

Rory: Oh God, probably every day, I imagine. Well, if we think about a lesson plan for example as a list of activities in a logical sequence and then there are things to add for each existing list that I already have. And then there are the tick lists that support my existing routine. So yeah, there's lots of lists and it's definitely an everyday task for me.

Maria: Do you make a shopping list when you go shopping?

Rory: I used to but I don't need to now since I've got one fixed list and it barely changes and it's one of the few lists I actually keep on my phone, so in this way I don't actually have to do that much with it.

Maria: Do you make to do lists at work?

Rory: Well my work makes the "To Do" list for me, I suppose. I just put everything in the right order. So for example, I have a list of classes and things connected to preparing for the classes and then there are things that crop up throughout the day or the week that get added to it. I say it's about 80 percent effective since I don't always get everything done on the day, but I just carry it over to the next day until I get it done, really.

Maria: Why don't some people like making lists?

Rory: Well, I suppose they just don't see the merit in it. Or possibly they're naturally organized and so they just do this as a matter of course. And the third option is that they just thrive on chaos. You find that with people who are quite artistic and creative, for example, they are not very good at making lists but they are very good at other things, so maybe that's why they don't like it, because it cramps their style in a way.

Maria: Do you prefer to make lists on paper or on your phone?

Rory: Well, despite the fact that I have my shopping list on my phone, I definitely say that paper is better. Probably just because I grew up with it. So because I've done it so much and it's just... I think it's force of habit for me. I can see the merits of having things on my phone though. It's more portable than a diary and maybe I'll switch over to that next year. But for no paper is my go-to option for making a list.
Maria: When was the last time you made a list?

Rory: That's a good question. I think probably last Friday when I adding my weekly schedule to my diary planner. So I've been trying to do that more often when I can because first of all my Friday is largely free so I have time to organize and print all my materials. So when I add my list to my diary plan or I already, kind of go through in my head what I'm going to need to prepare for that week.
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