How list making increases productivity and accountability
I think there is a solid, loyal group of people out there who identify with being a ‘list person’. They are those people who have multiple notebooks on the go, always have their calendar up to date and seem to get a lot done!
I have always been a list person, it isn’t as though it is a recent phenomenon for me. I remember as a kid I would get those cute little notebooks from vending machines or birthday parties, and I would start writing little nonsense lists! Now of course, my lists have transformed from which stuffed animals I want to have on my shelf to errands, work tasks, blog tasks and social engagements. My colleagues at work have even commented on how sometimes amusing my lists are and that I should make a book of them , haha, for example, my WISH LIST OF THINGS TO BUY and my LIST OF RATIONALIZATIONS FOR THOSE PURCHASES >.<
Because this works so well for me, I decided to see if there was any science behind it or if there was a logical reason that lists are so AMAZING! Well, guess what THERE IS!
Making lists quells anxiety and breeds creativity
I am definitely a worrier; I am the person who will go to bed but once I start thinking about all the things I need to do then I cannot sleep! A little tricky trick for this? Have a notepad or book beside your bed where you can very easily turn over and write down all the things on your mind. This helps SO MUCH! The worry of forgetting something is gone because it is written down! Running my life around lists is a huge stress reliever!
Another reason lists are ‘da bomb’ is because you can prioritize. If you have 2935023958 tasks to do and let’s say four free hours to do them, you won’t finish everything. With so many tasks your brain actually gets stressed out and can’t think of how to “put on foot in front of the other” so to speak, by having it all written down you can reduce the clutter in your brain, and really focus on the task at hand. Even better, by writing down your tasks based on priority, if you get the top three things done, you have been extremely successful!
Speaking of success, the concept of having a tangible, hand written list I think is key. When I cross something off my list it is a very obvious and tangible piece of evidence that I am making progress and getting closer to my end goal, whatever my daily goal is for that day.
Aside from simply getting your top three things done its actually shown that you will GET MORE DONE when using lists; wonder why?
Similar tasks can be scheduled together
If you have to run around town and drop off dry cleaning at one place and pick up groceries at another place a block away, when you’re organized and focused, you can do these in the same outing. The same goes for making phone calls or responding to emails. Sit down, turn off your phone and go for it. Economies of scale can be used in your life to get into a rhythm and be productive!
For those on the other end of the spectrum who can’t be bothered with lists and would much rather spend their free time vegging out in front of the television or computer, guess what??? Lists are going to be a blessing to you too! 🙂
Lists keep you accountable
If you’re more the person who never gets anything done rather than the person who worries how productive they’re being, lists are also for you! By writing down the thing(s) that you need to do it is more likely that you will actually do them. If you simply think yes, I should get groceries today and send in my tax returns. . . well by having a tangible reminder, each time you look at the list you a) remember that you HAVE to do it and b) are prompted to complete the task so that you can cross it off and get back to chilling 🙂
For those out there who are list makers keep on listing, and those who don’t use them, perhaps give it a try and see how you feel 🙂
Happy List Writing!