Are you a ‘list-maker?’ I certainly am! Apparently human beings love lists because they create a sense of order in a chaotic world – which I totally relate to being a busy working mum!
Did you know, you can be a planner or a dreamer and still love lists?! Writing something down solidifies the goal you want to achieve and makes it more attainable. Once you put pen to paper, studies show that you are 33% more likely to actually achieve it. Not only do you become more motivated when you make a written plan, but you are reminded of your goal and become more accountable too. Just as a handwritten note is seen as more thoughtful than an email or phone call, so too are handwritten lists or goals.
Seeing something written down makes it more tangible, and the amount of time you need to accomplish certain tasks becomes easier to grasp. Along with a visual impact, list-making has a kinaesthetic effect as well. There’s nothing more cathartic than placing a tick next to an item on a list, or even drawing a straight line through it.
I have spent too many holidays or just days at home procrastinating and putting things off that I really want to get done. You’ll be surprised how many things you can squeeze into your schedule simply because that list is staring you in the face just waiting to be ticked off.
There are so many different types of lists:
• To do lists
• Shopping lists
• Goal or life or bucket lists
• Self-care lists and ways to pamper ourselves
• Gratitude lists and lists of things we enjoy
• Books we’ve read or books we want to read
• Dreams we have
• Lists of names when expecting a new baby
• Packing list for holidays
• Lists of chores for the kids
• Playlists of music we love
• Pro & con lists when we are trying to make decisions
• Reminder lists
• Wish lists
• Homework/assignment lists
• Lists for work, school or university
Lists prioritise and focus your attention. Even if only on paper, hope exists that these things will get done!
The first step in creating your list is to find the perfect notepad or notebook. Look no further than Padtastic’s beautiful range of personalised notepads and notebooks, and why not grab a few different designs or personalisation’s for each different list? Multiple lists can be more specific, and more focused and actionable. Padtastic’s paper quality is just divine, and along with the perfect pen, it will make writing those lists a self-care activity too!
Find the right time for you to sit down and write your list. If it’s a daily to-do list, each evening might be best, ready for the next day. Or if you are an early riser, completing your list each morning may work. Sitting down with a hot cup of tea or coffee to complete a list of your dreams or goals can calm you and clear your mind. Use a notepad to ‘brain-dump’ – write down everything you need to do, or everything that’s worrying you. This can drive clarity and action. Now sort it into specific and concise smaller lists, if that makes it easier. Then get to completing those items!
Finding the perfect number of items to place on a list might take time and practice – too little and there’s no challenge or sense of accomplishment, and too many may be overwhelming and ultimately setting yourself up for failure. Being able to tick things off as you do them gives you an amazing sense of achievement (I strongly encourage you to try it!). If something appears day after day and never gets done though, you may need to reevaluate and ask yourself: “Does it need to be there?” and “Why am I putting it off?”
Lists provide a deliberate reason to check-in too: find a time to tick those achievements off, and allow yourself to celebrate, especially if they are big dreams that have taken weeks, months or even years!
I’d love to know if you are a list-maker, and what works for you? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!
Now to cross this off my to-do list, ha!
In last month’s blog post, I explored the benefits of becoming organised and some general tips for beginning your organising journey. A big part of organising, I believe, is learning to live with less.