5 Reasons List-Making Is Life
By Iona Brannon
There are two kinds of people in this world: listmakers and those yet to be converted to that list-making life. At MAED, we swear by lists and there’s a ton of reasons why. List-making is not only satisfying, but it also increases efficiency and can help you reach your long-term goals. We’ve listed five ways list-making can help get your life together so you can get more done:
1. Lists organize your thoughts
Most likely you’ve experienced that sense of dread when you know you’ve forgotten something important. This is especially common as we’re constantly bombarded and distracted by messages and notifications in our tech-savvy world. You can easily avoid that by keeping a running list of things you need to remember and adding to it with every rogue reminder that comes into your head. By making a list, you can help bring together all the scattered pieces throughout your mind.
2. Lists help you (and your team) stay on task
Creating a list at the start of the day can be very helpful to make sure you have a plan of action. Projects involving more than one person can easily get complicated. Listing things out clearly can create a more efficient workflow. Not only does it help divvy responsibilities and promote clear communication of roles and expectations, but you can also use it to prioritize the most important work tasks. Try breaking down your tasks for the day by urgency and putting your energy toward the top two or three.
3. Lists ease anxiety
If you’re getting ready for a big trip, you know you can breathe easy once you’ve checked off that packing list. If you’re shopping for Christmas presents and you’re wondering if you missed anyone, just check your list. What if you forgot the password to all those old accounts? You have a list! The point of making a list is so that in times of panic or anxiety, we can refer back to it. When our minds draw a blank, the list stands calmly.
4. Lists give you a visual roadmap of your goals, progress, and steps to get there
Lists are truly therapeutic when you use them to create steps for the future. Break down the out-of-reach dream into steps that you can work on day-to-day. You’ll find the journey a lot less daunting when you can count the milestones. Those lists will help guide you each day, month or year as you make your way towards reaching your goal.
5. Lists give you a sense of satisfaction
There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off of a list. Even on days that feel less productive, lists are there to remind you of the little victories and hurdles you’ve overcome in the day. Focusing on what you’ve crossed off your list can quickly remind you that you’ve achieved something, however small. That sense of accomplishment is important and can be the difference between giving up and getting back up.
Lists are truly therapeutic when you use them to create steps for the future.
Lists are versatile. They’re there for your needs and their potential is boundless. There is the classic to-do list, the bucket list, the date night idea list, meal prep list, grocery list, etc. There are running lists that never expire and lists with definitive deadlines. Keep a list of addresses just in case you want to send a sweet note to a friend. Make a list of qualities you value in a friendship or weigh the pros and cons for that new job you’re considering. The list goes on. *wink wink*.
So next time you feel overwhelmed with the tasks at hand or find a thousand ideas floating through your mind, grab a pen, a paper and make a list. Not only will you be able to remember and keep track of your progress, but you’ll be able to savor the completion of each goal as you cross it off. To help you, we’ve created a custom-MAED downloadable PDF that you can print to start making your own lists! Don’t forget to hashtag #maedthelist and show us how you’re using your lists to get the most out of your day.
Iona Brannon is the editorial assistant and side-brain at MAED. With a background in journalism, she enjoys sitting in L.A. traffic and occasionally yelling at other drivers.