On a good day I have at least 2, on a bad day 7 or 8.
There are plenty of great tech tools for them. I’ve tried several and like the ones that sync with different devices my favourite is 2Do.
Yet honestly, I can’t beat a pen and bit of paper. I now have a list notepad that I carry around with me as I kept losing the backs of envelopes. Post it notes are also banned from my office, unless I’m using them to plan, as they breed like rabbits.
I can’t do without lists though. It’s something to do with how my mind works.
So what is it about a numbered list that attracts us:
- It is a fast way to capture lots of information. By containing thoughts within a list, it creates mental free space.
- It aides our memory. This can reduce the anxiety around forgetting something important. By writing it down it reinforces the thought as well as freeing it.
- It can prioritise time, as thoughts or items can be grouped together, sorted and rearranged according to time criteria or another emphasis.
- Progress can be tracked quickly and visually as items are checked off. ( You doesn’t love putting lines through tasks?)
- It’s quick and easy to consume and that’s why we love a good list blog.
- It also feeds our squirreling / hoarding tendencies. When someone has created a list they have usually done the research, their list saves me time and by saving lists, I’m saving the information for if and when I need it.
I have one mother list, which literally has everything on. I do this to create white space in my head. Another list focused on an area such as home, particular project, client. Then the everyday action lists. One in the morning and even one at the beginning of the weekend.
If the very action of listing can create clarity, reduce anxiety and quickly capture lots of information, perhaps we can use it as a technique to discover more about ourselves?
Three great list exercises to try are:
- The ‘Stop list’ or ‘No’ list. Favoured by Danielle La Porte. List what you are not going to do anymore. (My top three: comparison thoughts, playing candy crush, assuming it’s all down to me)
- Three lists : Love to be, Love to have, Love to do. ( caught up in a story, deep and meaningful conversations, make lists)
- The secret wish list. I secretly wish that…( there is more silly fun in my life)
I’m going to join the 30day list challenge. I’m not affiliated in any way but for the next 30 days kicking off March 1st I’m going to spend just 5 mins a day working on different list prompts to see what comes up.
I have adapted the image in this post, here is the original photo credit.