It seems very simple, but there is great value in making lists. 

For example, studies (done at the University of Toronto) show that students who write lists are more likely to 1. Use that information to set goals for the future, but also are more likely to stay in school and accomplish goals than those who do not. 

But Why Lists?

Well, first we should try to break the misconception that those who write lists are neurotic and obsessive. Lists can be used for a variety of reasons such as vacation itineraries, bucket lists, to-do lists, and more. Furthermore, try to not think of a list as a tedious long reminder but more about keeping information consolidated in a simple place so that your thoughts don’t just float around and get lost. 

Still not convinced? Check out these other great reasons to get behind making lists. 

1. Making lists can help with anxiety.

  • Studies show that the process of writing things down in an organized manner can help bring a sense of calm to the inner chaos. It allows you to prioritize and see things more clearly. 

2. It boosts creativity.

  • As you begin to write out your lists an overall image or goal becomes more clear. You are able to understand your next steps and it may even help you see steps you missed and channel parts of your creative brain you didn’t even know existed. 

3. It can help with memory.

  • Although lists are for the purpose of NOT having to remember off hand everything you need to do, they serve as a marker or reminder of what you need to remember. It essentially jogs your memory. 
    Crossing off things on your list just feels good! Once you start accomplishing tasks and you can cross them off your list, the satisfaction is indescribable. It is almost as if now you are physically able to see the progress you made. 

So start simple! Start with perhaps a few tasks you want to try to finish before the end of the week. See how it makes you feel to see your tasks written out clearly before you and how it feels to see yourself becoming a little more organized. After all, the organization doesn’t only have to do with the physical elements that surround us, but within our own brains. And often it is that mess in our minds that can be far more overwhelming than the physical mess around us. Start to take control and organize the internal to then be able to project that into organizing the external. 

So good luck and happy listing!