By Author V.S.Atbay
Today I was sitting at my desk all frazzled, confused and somewhat disoriented. Well, that’s usually what happens when you have a thousand thoughts running through your mind with just under 6 hours of sleep under your belt and not a coffee maker in sight!
You try to entertain each thought, idea, and image at the same time, while trying to remember everything simultaneously. Ugh.
Well, I have one word for that – impossible! Your thoughts will most likely crash into one like a bumper to bumper accident and chances are, all the great ones will fly right out the window. This is where you need to fasten your mental seat belts, protect and save each wonderful goal, thought or idea by making a list. Now, unless you’re somehow a distant cousin to Einstein or related to 11 year old world record memory breaker Nischal Narayanam – you better pull out that old yellow notepad with a big smile planted across your pretty face!
Creating lists will help you in several ways no matter what you do for a living.
10 STEPS WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE A LIST
1) Creating a list of things you want to accomplish such as your goals, ideas, and thoughts on a daily basis - will help keep you organized “up there."
And by up there I'm simply referring to your mind and the chaos, loud voices and the hundred ideas that rush through everyday. The goal is to capture each of these wonderful (or even not so wonderful) ideas by writing them down. By writing it down (immediately) you disable the idea or thought or goal from escaping your mind. This gives you the opportunity to not miss out or forget anything important such as, calling your boss to ask for that promotion, calling your friend to wish them a happy birthday, remembering to edit that final thesis draft before submission and so on.
2) Creating a list also provides you with a sense of clarity, calmness and security.
When you are able to see your goals, ideas, and thoughts on paper visually, you reduce the risk of panicking when you can’t remember how many times to rub proactive on your face or when to change the oil on your new Ford F-150! Further, this very act of seeing the goal or task on paper brings with it a sense of calmness, order, and clarity. Why? because you have now captured your thought and you can remember it, know where to find it and where to “cross it off” once it’s completed. Also, the goal or idea cannot really escape you anymore, you have created a “home” for it by writing it down. Should you ever forget it, you have a solid reference to look back on to, because it will always be there like a loyal friend calmly reminding you to move forward, hence, the sense of security, reassurance and clarity.
3) By creating a list, you are given the natural opportunity to succeed.
Crossing things off, believe it or not, can bring you a sense of joy, a sense of accomplishment, a feeling that you are progressing in life, a feeling that you are a productive and useful human being who has actually achieved what you aspire to achieve. This very act of crossing off can be very powerful and rewarding. It's a psychological thing!
4) For example, imagine you accomplished 5 major things in one month:
1) Do an oil change on the car
2) Finish final thesis before deadline
3) Learn how to cook lasagna
4) Lose 10 pounds
5) Take CPR course for job opportunity
Now when you look at this list visually and imagine each one crossed off, does it not arouse a small sense of accomplishment? And if you kept this up every month and looked back in the end of the year, you would visually see what you have accomplished, how you grew, how you challenged yourself. You moved from point A to point C, from one destination to another kicking laziness and procrastination in the face. Believe me, it works!
5) Down sides to NOT making a list:
Imagine if you accomplished all of these tasks and never wrote them down, or never saw your goals being accomplished visually. Well, you wouldn’t feel as successful or confident or proud, because you simply wouldn't see how far you progressed, even if the goals were achieved. You wouldn't have "sold evidence" for yourself. You would be your own witness with no proof - and physical evidence matters.
6) Creating a list of goals will help keep you accountable to your plans.
Also, dedicated to your goals by reminding you that you need to be somewhere, doing something everyday or every week. By creating this very list, you are in turn, holding yourself accountable to yourself. Makes sense? It’s a very independent style of keeping track of yourself, of where you are planning to progress by remaining responsible, self-reliant, accepting accountability and not being afraid to face your challenges on a daily basis. This should toughen you up if anything and keep you on your toes!
7) Creating a list of goals is a fun and rewarding job
You get to see the growth of your own success in full view, in front of your own eyes – almost like witnessing the growth of your baby puppy, kitten, child, or um, exotic plant…whatever. But the point is, you will SEE your success, not just KNOW of it. What’s more? Well, your goals are just goals; your dreams will be just dreams unless they are accomplished. And your notepad or computer screen will just be an empty and uninspiring canvas, unless you put something on it and then aim to cross it off through completion.
8) List Count Analysis: In the end of the year, you are able look back and examine how much you have accomplished.
And also, how to do things differently next time, how much more to add or reduce from your workload or plate and so on. And you can simply create this list either on paper or write it down on a calendar – both ways, the goal is to accomplish your goals!
9) Share some of your goals.
Maybe not all and not every time, but sometimes it's healthy to share some of your goals with family and friends. It creates a sense of gratification and accomplishment. People want to know you're up to something great!
10) Keep your bigger goal in mind. Accomplish all your goals on your list. Now go find a pen and go crazy.
I would love to hear some of your comments and thoughts below!
Author V.S. Atbay