I’ve always been a list maker, and I organize a lot of the small details in my life by making lists. When I have a million things going on, rather than doodle I find myself writing short lists of quick observations. This article got really thinking about the why behind my list making, and I started to realize when I need lists the most.
My favorite thing about lists are their simplicity. You don’t have to connect your thoughts, make sense of everything or even finish your sentences. There is no word requirement or suggested length: it just is what it is; no expectations or limitations. It’s easiest for me to break down most blog posts I share here by first creating a list of what I want to convey.
Making a list is just one of my easiest life hacks and go-to solutions. If you find yourself in one of these five situations, making a list may be your best option, too.
When you can’t focus
Developing content for a e-course is mainly difficult when you’re trying to gather all of your thoughts and ideals into lessons and take aways that would make sense to someone else. List making has been extremely helpful for narrowing my focus. Start with your main ideas, and get more specific as your work your way through the list. Name your list the objective you wish to accomplish, and challenge yourself to only add items to the list that will help you reach your objective.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed
Have you ever woken up with all of the tasks you have to complete that day free floating in your head? You may even start to say them aloud to yourself as you try and jump into your morning routines. When there are too many things floating in my mind, making a physical list always helps me settle down and breath easy. Don’t feel obligated to write down what you have to do, that may overwhelm you more. Instead, jot down a list of things you’re looking forward to, something you’re excited to do or something that going right.
When your creativity is low
I knew I wanted to create an ecourse way before I started developing the one in the works. It took me a long time to actually determine what I wanted to teach, and how I should create it. When I’m at a creative hump, list making always sparks some imagination and inspires interesting thoughts. Make a list of product names you have in mind, even if you don’t have a product yet. Jot down some names for your mailing list or even a new blog you want to launch, even if those things are months off of creation. A quick creativity list helps to keep the mind fresh.
When you’ve had a productive day
We all hustle our way through dozens of weekly to-do lists, but what about creating a done list? Allyssa shared her thoughts on making a done list and I totally agree with her stance. Logging your accomplishments are just as important as tracking what needs to be accomplished. Anything you’ve done, no matter how big or small, has a spot on your done list. Did you manage to week prep this week? Check! Wrote out all of your blog post and mailing list content? Double check! You’re on a role and you deserve to celebrate!
When nothing is getting done
This one probably seems like a given, but when I’m not making a dent in all of my tasks, breaking down my massive check off list into smaller workable sections helps tremendously. Adding a time limit to each task that needs to be done (always estimating a bit more time than I think I need) also helps to make even the simplest things seem deadline sensitive. If I’m not being productive because my head is too cluttered (which happens often lately), I make a list of all of the extra items in my head to get them someplace else and allow myself time to focus.
Are you a list maker? What kind of lists do you make, and how do they help you?