Ok, I know there are those out there who say ‘I have an amazing memory I never forget‘…then we get the ones who say ‘lists make you lazy’ and then those who say ‘what list!’
And we all have those days when there are a million things to do, and we don’t know where to start or if it will get done. Overwhelm sets in and it is easy to lose track of loose ends and important things can get forgotten. We may even end up feeling like we are drowning.
For me a list changes how I think and 3 benefits I see are it:
- Keeps me organised and focused
- Beats procrastination
- A memory jogger – it constantly re-programs my mind to be organised
My 9 reasons are:
1. A daily to do list
I find if I write a to do list for my next day I jump in immediately and start doing If I haven’t written a list I will fiddle and think about what it was I was going to do and will get distracted at the drop of a hat. In short having a daily to do list gets
shit stuff done. One study showed that fifteen minutes spent planning could save an hour of time actually doing!
To go one step further, once you have a list, try grouping what you have to do. That maximise your time. For example make all calls together, do the important, heavy, ‘don’t want to do’ stuff early and leave the easier jobs for after lunch when you are not quite so energetic.
2. Bucket list
This is the fun list – try writing the ’50 things I would love to do before I die’… It becomes your time to be playful and think about what you would like to whether it is paint your home, see the pyramids in Egypt, climb My Everest or go on an Alaskan Cruise.
Everyone should have something to look forward to… and what better way when you a have a bucket list to tick off.
3. Shopping List
OK back to the mundane now… I can’t have you think you are here to have a good time… my system is have a note pad on the top of the fridge and when something runs out add to the list. The add special items later.
Doesn’t it drive you crazy if you slip out for ONE thing, come home with SIX minus what you actually went for!
4. Going away from home list
If I am going on a short or a long trip I leave a list on the dining room table with what I need to take and what I need to do before I leave. It is so easy for something to slip your mind when you get excited… Ok and sometimes I just forget!
5. Going to a Dr/Specialist
This was brought home to me during my late husbands 20 years of having every cardiac condition known to man, followed by his terminal cancer. When you are under stress you do not think clearly. I would write my questions in a list… and check off as they were answered. Was that a bit anal? Maybe however remember we were with the Dr for a few minutes… I was looking after him all the rest of the time. I needed to know so I could cope and deal with what might and often did occur.
6 Motivation –
A list becomes a positive reinforcement to yourself. And don’t forget to reward yourself along the way. For me I highlight (rather than cross out) what I have done from a list, that serves two purposes…one I can see what is left and secondly I can see what I have achieved.
Reading an instruction book would not be one of my strong points… however I will write a detailed instruction list for something I am learning especially with technology (and I write it in my language, bet that makes the techo’s cringe).
When I am learning, if I put it into practice immediately I will retain the information. If I am shown and don’t touch it for a month then my trusty instruction list gives me an excellent refresher… and prevents expressing multiple ‘goodness gracious me’s’.
9 Collecting great ideas
Keeping a list of great ideas whether they are yours or not is such fun. I am busily doing that with creating images and simple photo editing and I love it. when you see or hear something I jot it down Or there are those moments when ideas just flow to you.. Write them down. the slippery little devils have a habit of disappearing.
As a point of interest…I Goggled the 5 best lists… they related to books, film and music. When I Goggled the 5 worst they related to earthquakes, genocides and natural disasters. The take home from there is a list helps keep you positive.
Love to hear about you lists… do share…
Much love and hugs Di whether or not you use a list…