Making a List, Checking it Twice
Four Reasons to Start Listing
With the holiday season upon us, you undoubtedly find yourself with about 100 things to accomplish. Along with all of the things you need to get done in a day, now you have to add shopping for gifts and extra meal planning. Work and home life go on as usual in the midst of all of this and it’s easy to forget something or let certain things fall by the wayside. The best way to keep your priorities in order and remember important events is to make a list. I have compiled what I believe are the top four benefits to list making.
1. Saving Time = Saving Money Yes, list making can keep cash in your pocket. For example, I have a grocery shopping list and I arrange the items according to the store layout. This really helps me to only buy the items on the list and gets me in and out quicker—which is a must when shopping with baby in tow. In the workplace, a daily to-do list helps to keep you more efficient. You can even add time frames to the list so you don’t end up checking your e-mails or Twitter account for endless hours. Whether you work in or out of the home, there are only so many hours in a day. Don’t be afraid to move less important items to another day/week/month.
2. Prioritizing Beats the Beast After you make your to do list you should prioritize what is most important to be finished. Try to tackle the hardest items first when your energy levels are high. Human nature suggests we get all the easy things done first so we can “accomplish” more. But then that big job looms over your head all day and even appears to get bigger and bigger. Many times we then push it off until tomorrow – over and over again! Instead, get that big job out of the way first. You’ll feel that you’ve made a major accomplishment and that will build momentum. The easy jobs will go much faster and you will actually get more work done.
3. Goal Planning is Key What are your goals for your business or your personal success in life? Goal oriented lists help us to see it all in black and white. They help us to visualize where we are going and keep us focused. When I started my business, listing all the things I needed to do to achieve my goals really helped me to prioritize. You can start with long term goal lists, like what you want to accomplish in a year, and then break that list down into manageable weekly or monthly goals to help you reach your desired end result. This type of list goes hand in hand with making a business plan.
4. Decrease the Stress List making can certainly decrease stress levels. When I have hundreds of thoughts and things to do floating around in my head, I write them down or note them in my phone. Once the thoughts are on paper (or in my beloved BlackBerry), I can breathe easier. Keeping a list can help you feel less overwhelmed. When you know what you are doing and when you are doing it, that frazzled feeling fades away. Don’t forget the best part—the satisfaction of crossing items off the list. I find it’s such a great feeling to look at that piece of paper with all of the items crossed off and to know that I really accomplished something.
As you can see, lists are not limiting. There is no end to the kinds of lists you can make. For example, my most common lists are: household, work to-do, baby appointments. You can also make lists for party planning or packing for a trip. There is no right or wrong way to keep a list. You can write it on paper, keep it in your phone or type it on your laptop. So get started making those lists to help make your life a little easier. The list of lists is endless!
Did this inspire you to get started? Let me know!