My top-ten list on the benefits of list-making


I’m a man of lists. I love everything about them. How much so? In 400 words or less, I can tell you:

checklist-2077024_640–They keep me organized and moving in the right direction.

–They satisfy my perfectionist-keep-working-until-you-get-it-right nature.

–They’re easy to complete and I like the feeling of checking tasks off. There goes another!

–They help determine and prioritize what steps or tasks I need to tackle first. For example, buy myself a pair of pricey new running shoes, pick up my wife and go out to eat. Oh yea, if I pick up my wife and take her out to eat at that fancy new restaurant we’ve been talking about, she’s probably going to be fine when the running shoes magically show up on our doorstep. However, if I mess up the order of those three steps, she might just kick me out of the house.

–The act of writing a task down makes me more accountable to myself. You can lie to the people you work with, you can lie to the people who love you, but it’s really pretty pathetic when you try to lie to yourself.

–They remind me that work is a must, friends are great, and that my family is my priority.

checklist-2077019_640

–They help kill the procrastination bug and, most importantly, they help save time and even money. And I speak from personal experience when I say the procrastination bug and all of its various forms, is very contagious and tough to get rid of.

–They help keep me focused. I write down everything I want to accomplish on a busy Saturday in November and I’m ten times more likely to achieve the items on the list. Left to my own devices without a list and I’m bound to waste the day. A perfectly good day down the tubes, nobody wants to see that happen.

–They keep my cranky, lazy brain cells active and engaged, turning abstract goals into concrete achievements. I want to lose 20 pounds becomes a detailed running and workout schedule. Without a list, I’ll be counting on “the round-to-it fairy” until I’m blue in the face.

–They help relieve stress. With a million thoughts racing through my mind, I’m an anxiety-ridden puddle. A complete mess. With a detailed list, I can “adult” with the best of them.

Yes, I love lists. Yes, I’m crazy too, but that’s a separate list for another day.

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