I’ve been writing, speaking, and training the world on list making to aid in greater productivity. I have been convinced for decades that this was the simplest and most logical way to run one’s life. Yet, there are still many out there who defy my advice determined that their method (lack thereof in reality) is superior and that making a list is stupid, stressful, unnecessary, etc. (substitute your adjective here at will).
Well, now Richard Branson has touted the importance of list-making and I am thrilled! He is considered creative, successful, and a solid businessman, and he makes lists! Making task lists isn’t that hard to do.
So, in this era of complete uncertainty, and what seems like constant fluctuation, it is seriously important to have something to fall back on that we can rely upon. I’m not saying that making a list is essential – okay… I sort of am – but life, as we know it, is a bit of a roller coaster ride. If you want to be the one who knows which way is up – it might be in your best interest to keep track of what you are doing…or planning on doing.
To quote Mr. Branson, because he seemingly has been making lists for as long as I have, “…make lists and stick to them.” He found an old to-do list from when he was 22, in 1972 – which was about the same time I was making lists in Junior High – thinking that everyone listed out their tasks for the day. It was 1974/75 at that time, and Day Runner Planners were all the rage. For me, writing my lists cleared my head. It also freed up brain space for thinking and creating. It still does.
Think about it – when you write down what you want or need to do – it doesn’t take up valuable real-estate in your head. This also makes it far easier to prioritize and keep track of what you did, and did not, get done.
So, with this new year upon us, or whenever you happen to be reading this – start keeping track of your tasks. And hats off again to Mr. Branson; don’t attempt to multi-task or have several tasks going on at once. Concentrate on one task and move on from there. You are not running a 3-ring circus – this is your LIFE. Doing more than one thing can increase anxiety, overwhelm, and stress. We can get that with far less effort ;).
You know you need it – so create it. Structure makes it easier to get through the days with greater joy and less stress. Have routines or rituals for your days. Give it a try if you are doubting this amazing experience, and tell me if it doesn’t make you happier and feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
Now let’s get out that paper and pencil and start writing things down – yes, old school works too!