On being a completist

I’m a completist (or in true completist style – a completionist). But Chrome doesn’t recognise that word, so I’ll stick with “completist”.

Being a completist means I like to get things done. I’m quality-focused too, so I don’t settle only for completing things – but it does mean I get anxious if there are too many things “in progress”. I get a buzz out of finishing a task.

Being a completist means that when opening a packet of biscuits, there won’t be a half-opened packet going back into the cupboard. Yum!

Being a completist means I can’t just watch one episode of a TV series; I have to watch them all. This means I hesitate to get into new shows – especially a lot of them at once. It also explains why I watched all eight episodes of Stranger Things in a day. Oops. And I’ll sit through the bad episodes of shows that used to be good, such as Scrubs season 9 and The X-Files season 9.

Being a completist used to mean buying every album by a musician. I also used to organise my CDs alphabetically by artist, and then within each artist, chronologically by release date. Nowadays, it’s not so much fun: I save the albums in Spotify, and then forget to listen to them.

Being a completist means completing games 100% – or at least that’s my plan. My interest often wanes if getting to 100% requires going through a guide step by step, or if the final few % are insanely difficult. (Too many games to list; maybe one for another post.)

Being a completist means rarely deleting old blog posts, lest they disrupt the continuity of my mostly-ignored ramblings. Actually, that’s not true. I sometimes wipe my blog, but save all of the posts into Evernote first. Then I hold onto the posts for years, in case there’s something good in there. (OK, that one is hoarding.)

Being a completist used to mean reading every thread on the web forums I visited. This stopped me from wandering into new forums, unfazed about whether I missed a thread or two.

Being a completist is a bloody nightmare in the “always on” era we’re living in now. I worry I’m missing something on Facebook or Twitter.

I haven’t yet figured out how to break the cycle…


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