The Power of Lists

I am a self-proclaimed obsessive list-maker.  I love making lists of just about anything I need to accomplish. 

I have made lists for:

  • Grocery shopping
  • To-do’s for work
  • Things to do on my days off
  • Stores to hit on trips to the mall
  • Things to remember to do for myself
  • Things to bring on vacation

Now some people may think this is a sure sign of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but I consider this habit my key to remaining organized.

I’m sure we all know the feeling of standing in the grocery store searching our pockets, wallets, and pocketbooks looking for the grocery list we know we wrote before leaving home.  Not finding it think, “No big deal, I’ll remember what I wrote,” only to arrive home, find the list on the counter, and realize that something was forgotten.

I used to get very down on myself and my memory for not being able to remember what I needed to buy or do, but now I realize that the lists help relieve some stress and cause no harm so, WHY NOT?

I once saw this on Facebook:

Happiness is…Writing something on your to do list seconds before you do it for the pleasure of crossing it off. 

I have to admit that I am guilty of this.  There is something about the feeling of crossing items off the list, and better yet, throwing away the list because it is all completed, that really gives me a lift!

Today, with the advanced technology of our phones, we have access to our notes, reminders, calendars, and even list apps are available for us to use.  Gone are the days of needing to find the paper to write the list on.  I have to admit, for some applications, I still prefer the paper/pencil list, but I do have a Costco list on my phone of the items I like to get at Costco so I don’t forget when I’m there.  Costco is not close to my home so I hate it when I forget something I need. 

I also have my Packing List on my phone with special notes of things to remember depending on where I’m going on vacation.  A cruise, for example, requires different clothing than a trip to NY.  My sister-in-law Mary and I like to joke about needing a “list of our lists” for some trips, especially when our children were young. 

A new concept that I recently heard about is creating a list of things we want to stop doing.  Sometimes we find ourselves repeating behaviors that are detrimental to our own growth. 

My Stop-Doing List

  • Obsessively checking my email/texts/social media
  • Doing projects or anything really that I’m not passionate about
  • Overextending myself

“We have to start putting ourselves on the to-do list.” 

Giuliana Rancic

While I truly love the feeling of getting things done, it is as important to make sure we are taking time for ourselves. This current quarantine situation has shown me the value in this.  Not traveling or going out with friends has diminished the things on my to-do list, therefore allowing me more time to spend on things I want to do for myself, what I call my ME-list.

  • Meditating
  • Reading my inspirational books
  • Walking/Exercising
  • Kayaking
  • Biking
  • Sewing

“Stop dreaming about your bucket list and start living it.” 

Annette White

It is important to be organized and have a list of things that I HAVE to get done, but more important to have a list of things I WANT to get done.  By writing them down, and looking at them, they become important and I am more likely to do them.  Many years ago I created a bucket list of 100 things I want to do before I die.  I love crossing things off this list and find that as I do, I am sometimes inspired to add another entry.  My cup (bucket) definitely runneth over.  

2 thoughts on “The Power of Lists

  1. i need a list to remind me to make a list! ANY list…so much is running around in my head…and I wind up with a feeling of being overwhelmed and under-accomplished…So, thank you, ME…I’m off to write a LIST of all the lists I need to create to ease my cluttered mind! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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