I hate shopping…any kind of shopping really. Every now and then I am tasked with grocery shopping. I walk through the aisles and I see other men looking just as lost as I am trying to find things. One thing I never leave home without when I am going shopping is a list! I can’t shop without one and I can’t get things done without one. I love lists.
I realize this isn’t everyone’s story. Some people I know have what they call “list in their head.” Mines are written out on paper, as a file on my computer or as a note in my phone. To get things done, I actually have multiple lists (I will list those lists in a future post). On this blog, I want to share why I love lists and how they help me to get things accomplished.
Creates order out of chaos
Many times when I look at what I have to do for a week, or on a particular project, there are so many things on the table. Sometimes I may not even know where to begin. What happens first? What’s most important?
Simply listing everything without regard for rank or importance helps to lay all the puzzle pieces out. It gives me a handle on what needs to be done. From there I can begin grouping things, sorting them, arranging them and ordering them. It moves things from the chaos of not knowing what to do, to a plan of what needs to get done.
When I am faced with a busy day or week, or a large project or task, it is so easy to feel overwhelmed. I’m sure you can relate. Sometimes I have so much to do, I get tired just thinking about it and feel I need a nap.
If I simply make a list, I have the same amount of work to do, but now I have a grasp on it. It helps to lift ever so slightly that feeling of being overwhelmed. Sometimes we think we have so much going on. Simply taking inventory of what we have to do helps us to realize it is manageable.
Creating a list gives me an instant win! Even if I have 50 things on my to-do list, just by creating it, I have done 1 thing. (It’s like signing up for the gym is a win in the get healthy process). If I do not get anything else completed that day at least I made my list.
Not only do lists help me overcome the negative emotion of feeling overwhelmed but working my way down them helps to build momentum. I don’t start with the biggest project first (I don’t leave it for last either). I start with something I
can get done quickly and cross it off. That helps to give me a boost that I can do another and another and another. Positive energy begins to kick in and before you know it I’m on fire!
Helps to keep track
A list works to move things forward but it also helps me in reverse as well. It’s easy to lose track of what you get done in a day, for a week, on a project. How soon we forget and sometimes think we did not do anything.
Looking back at my list helps me to know what I was able to get done and actually helps me with future lists. If I could get 10 things done this week, I know that’s my baseline (all things being equal) for next week. Like me, it will help you to take note of how long things take you. So going forward you can plan your schedule accordingly.
I love lists…that’s one of my secrets for getting things done. What about you? Are you a list person? What are some of the lists you make up? Share them below here. Will help with my future posts on types of lists.