Lists make me happy.
An article I read recently actually puts science behind the fact that lists can calm anxiety and bolster creativity. For me, that’s just the icing on and already delicious cake.
What is it about writing out words on a note pad that is so magical? I think it’s an OCD organizational thing. If I feel like my life is getting out of control or becoming too chaotic, writing out tasks gives me some clarity. By bringing some order to what needs to get done I can see that in reality my life is not quite so crazy as I think it is.
Besides would late night tv be without David Letterman’s Top Ten List? Even Shakespeare references lists in Hamlet. The Bard refers to “a list of landlesse resolutes” in Act 1 Scene 1.
So what does it take to make a good list? Well for starters you never have just one list. On any given day you will find multiple lists in my kitchen.
- Master To Do List
- Thing To Do That Day ie: Wednesday
- Ideas or Posts to Work On
But it’s not that simple. There is, I believe, an art to it.
You must have the appropriate piece of paper.
Sure, the right size is important, but so is the layout and look. You wouldn’t put your Master To Do list on a tiny pad of paper with some realtors face on it. But a quick shopping list? Totally okay. It has been suggested to me that I use my smart phone to record my lists. It just doesn’t sit right with me. I’m not sure if it’s an old school things or a tactile thing. Regardless, the right tool for the job is always key.
Lists need to be about timing.
Now obviously making a Christmas card list in March is a bit of overkill. Although, now that I’m saying it, it does make perfect sense. What I am saying, is that one of the purposes of a list it to save time. So make it work for you. Writing out your grocery list in the order that you walk the aisles at the grocery store is a huge time saver. If you have half a dozen errands to do not only will your list remind you what needs to get down but it can serve as a map for your route.
Tasks on your lists need to be realistic.
If you make a list of things to do that are unattainable, the list can’t serve it purpose. It will only serve to frustrate you when you are unable to complete them. There’s definitely a sense of accomplishment that comes with crossing things off of a list. Even if you are just crossing it off because you have decided that it belongs on a different list. Ya, that counts. Bottom line? World Peace shouldn’t necessarily be on your list.
It’s really not rocket science, but lists can make you feel like a super hero. Everyone admires somebody who can keep things on track and get stuff done. Don’t they?
The Best Thing in Life is a really good list.