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The Oh F*** List, A Strategic Method for Minimizing Verbal Self-abuse

Friday June 7, 2019

Just a few minutes ago I looked at a concerning skin blemish for the nth time this week and proclaimed to myself, “Aw, DAMMIT,” which was a good reminder to write about the Oh F*** List here on the blog.

How an Oh F*** List Works

When you suddenly remember something that triggers you enough to cause you to do one of these:

  • Tense up
  • Swear or curse
  • Stress-eat
  • React angrily
  • Give someone else a dirty look or a blunt response

…it’s time to add that item an Oh F*** List.

What to Write on an Oh F*** List

  • Concerning health issues that will possibly require fiddly follow-ups, travel, waiting, scheduling, etc.
  • Concerning life issues like “my relationship with so-and-so is alarmingly bad”
  • Anything that you haven’t started, either because you don’t have clarity, or because you don’t have comfort, or because you don’t have courage (see my Productivity Triangle model)
  • Other things that make you wonder about your worth, the more you reflect on how bad the situation has become
  • Research topics that could really help you make key decisions

I started my own list after realizing my normal To-Do list wasn’t working, in this dimension anyway. My To-Do list started to fill up with so many fantasies and huge problems that it was so much nicer just to ignore the stupid thing and that alone was really concerning. Ignoring it did nothing, unfortunately, to address the stressors themselves.

I realized that the name of the list had to be something that communicated more of a “Better-Do-or-ELSE” message. Thus the Oh F*** List was born.

How to Make Better Use of an Oh F*** List

Some quick tips:

  • Use a list format that allows you to expand on an item whenever you’re ready.
  • Keep a log at the bottom of the list, just simple updates on when you last made progress and what you did, and how it went. You can use my Oh F*** List Markdown Template for this if you’d like.
  • If you’re new to the list, consider adding list review reminders to your calendar.


We’ve all had those moments, and we INTJs are not known to have the best memory. So the Oh F*** List helps you take advantage of those moments when they arrive and direct your energy in a more productive way. This should help reduce stress in your life and help you feel more productive and energetic.

Filed in: Procrastination /23/ | Productivity /119/ | Therapeutic Practice /144/ | Control /110/ | Anxiety /32/ | Publications /44/

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