Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It’s All in the List by Daryl Hoole

You can bring order out of life’s chaos by making lists. The best way to talk about the benefits of list making for successful home and life management is to simply make a list of the many benefits. So, here goes:

A list . . .

* Allows you to put the pressure on paper rather than on your mind. In other words, instead of feeling the weight of so much to do on your mind, it helps to “set it down,” so to speak, on paper or an electronic device.

* Does not change all that needs to be done, but writing it down can help you feel more in control of the situation.

* Helps you get to your appointments on time. One’s mind is not intended to be a calendar.

* Helps you keep things from “falling through the cracks.” From an efficiency perspective, a sharp pencil is better than a sharp memory.

* Keeps track of where and when something needs to be done—it can prevent double scheduling.

* Is something to check off so when you go on a trip you take everything you need. It can be a serious problem to open your bag and find you left your prescription medicine at home.

* Is a storehouse for ideas. Ideas, like birds, fly in and out and can become lost unless you catch them and “cage” them.

* Is only as good as it is read.

* Has no magic in it. It works only when you do.

* Helps you direct your efforts and focus on whatever task is at hand. It’s an anti “spin your wheels” technique.

* Drives you to get things done. In the words of William James, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”

* Enables you to see the beginning and the end of your work. Knowing where to start and when to stop is a favor you can bestow upon yourself.

* Makes it easier to prioritize your tasks. According to Stephen R. Covey, “The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

* Can be a procrastination deterrent. Personal discipline can be cultivated, and a list can be an aid in such an endeavor.

* Gives you a track to run on. Even if you run a bit behind, you’re still on track. Someone quipped, “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve finished my list; the bad news is that it’s yesterday’s list.”

* Provides a plan from which you can arrange your life to suit the situation. Elder Dallin H. Oaks put it well when he said, “Plan specifically so you can implement flexibly.”

* Is therapeutic. Crossing items off can energize and motivate, providing a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and peace. (Sometimes it can provide encouragement to list things that you’ve already done, just to cross them off. It’s evidence that you are productive.)

* Helps you to follow through, carry out intentions, and keep your promises which may include returning what you borrow.

I saw this on Mrs. Teresa A. Haley's blog; Practical Housewifery. If you haven't yet visited this blog I encourage you to do so.



Gwen said...

I am totally a list maker. I start every day off with a list and end my night (or work day) making sure I've attacked the list. :) XOXO

P.S. The magic key is how Santa gets into houses without fireplaces. It unlocks any door. I think I saw a Magic Key ornament at Hallmark this year. Wish I would have had that to show Ellie all those years ago.

Mommie Lynda said...

Oh thank you! That sounds so cute.