Monday, May 23, 2011

Write It Down: The Beauty of Lists

Anyone who knows me can tell you I'm a list person. I don't think I'm obsessive about it; often I forget to take a shopping list with me to the store. But I usually remember most of what was on the list anyway. I guess writing things down may save the information into my brain. For me, making lists helps me focus on what's important and checking off the completed tasks is very satisfying.

The most common lists people make are: to do, shopping, appointments, reminders, goals, and projects. I like the fun lists: Favorites (food, books, places, activities, people, bookmarks on the computer); Ideas (to write, to ponder, to make, to inspire); Go Me! (accomplishments, milestones, positive attributes, awards); and Quotes (inspirational, funny, thought-provoking, motivational).

Whether you write on scraps of paper or on your computer, using these notes to guide you through your week can make life run smoothly. They don't have to be long...sometimes shorter is better. You just have to follow them! Lists can bring order to chaos, help you enjoy life, relieve stress, limit procrastination, and inspire you to achieve more. They can allow you to be flexible and take advantage of opportunities.

When I worked in tourism, I created a master list based on our program of work, then notebooks or folders for each project with detailed lists inside. It was the best way I found to manage such a busy, diverse organization. I did the same when I owned JKI Mailing Services. Work is easier and goals are met more quickly when you're organized and prepared.

Now that I'm retired, some of my lists are different but still help me focus. Both of us are very busy with hobbies, gardening, yard work, travel, home improvement, helping parents, and other projects. I keep an ongoing someday list, a life lessons list, and a list of things that make me happy.
How many lists do you keep?

Useful Notion: Be sure to sprinkle a few fun and relaxing things into your to do list along with chores. Remember, all work and no play makes for a dull existence. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Take a walk outside
  • Eat ice cream 
  • Have a glass of sweet tea
  • Sit on the porch
  • Lunch with a friend
  • Snuggle with sweetheart
  • Buy or pick flowers
  • Smile at everyone
  • Count your blessings