I've been a list maker since I could write. I remember making lists in school with upcoming homework assignments, what I needed to do to clean my room, what I wanted to buy with my hard-earned babysitting and newspaper route money and many other things.
Why do I make lists? Here's a list with my top reasons:
- A list helps me remember everything. Without a list, I'd be sure to forget something crucial, like an upcoming dentist appointment or an important school event for one of my kids.
- A list helps me prioritize. Not everything on a to-do list needs to be done a.s.a.p. But, a quick glance lets me know what is crucial. Sometimes I'll number things and sometimes I circle the things that need to be done first.
- A list helps me feel like I accomplished something. At the end of the day, when I cross things off the list, it feels really good to see how I've spent my time. It's proof to myself that I'm not a lazy, though I sometimes can be.
- A list helps me sleep. You know those thoughts you just can't stop thinking? They tend to bolt into my consciousness just as I'm trying to fall asleep for the night. The solution is easy. Once they are safely captured with pen and paper, I can rest without fear I'll forget something important.
- A list helps me feel in control. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all that I have to do on some days. When I make a list, somehow I feel like I've got control again.