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Importance of Creating Lists

Updated on December 31, 2012

The Importance of Creating To Do Lists

Have you ever noticed when you write something down, such as a to do list, you seem to get it done? Why do people make lists? Here we will discuss the power of creating lists, writing down your goals, making task lists, writing to do lists, etc.

We'll also cover important reasons for making lists and the many benefits that can be had from this simple exercise. Writing out a list can help you formulate your thoughts and give you clarity, allowing you to prioritize your tasks for the day. So let's get started on our list!

Write it down
Write it down

Why Create Lists?

Why do I need to write my goals down? Why bother with a to do list?

As odd as it may seem, there is power in putting your tasks or goals on paper. Now it's real. You can see it. You're committed. That little voice in your head will begin to nudge you in the right direction. Putting a goal in writing helps refine your focus and propels you forward with intent.

Once you can hold that piece of paper in your hand, it brings visibility to the tasks/chores/goals and you'll increase the likelihood that you will get the job done, whatever that may be.

Remember, if you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time.

Sleep well!
Sleep well!

1. Lists Help Relieve Stress

Put your worries to rest

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night in a panic, having forgotten to take care of an important task the day prior? Chances are you would not have forgotten had it been written down on a list of things to take care of that day.

You'll go to bed anxiety-free knowing that you accomplished everything important that needed to be done throughout the day thanks to your handy dandy list. Also, if you're the type that tends to think of things as you're trying to fall asleep, it's a good practice to keep a notepad by your bedside. Quickly jot down your idea and then relax in the knowledge that you won't have to strain to remember that important item in the morning.

To Do Lists - Books on how to get things done, Books on goals

In love
In love

2. Lists Can Help Improve Your Relationships

Let me count the ways I love thee

Think of the possibilities here. How would your spouse/significant other react if she came home from work today and found a "10 Reasons I Love You" list? *Cue the Barry White music here.*

As many people establish goals for the New Year, this is also a great time to recognize your partner for what they bring to the relationship. You can create a list of things that are important to both of you as individuals and important to the two of you as a couple. Once you're aware that something is important to your partner, you'll likely put forth more effort in that area which will ultimately help strengthen your relationship.

Changing a lightbulb
Changing a lightbulb

3. Lists Will Help You Achieve Your Short Term Goals

Lists give you direction

If you write it down, it will help you to make it happen. It's just human nature. Studies have shown that people who write things down tend to get things done.

Whether you need to change a lightbulb or cut the dog's toenails (or your own) or touch up the paint on the closet door, making a list will serve as a reminder to do exactly that.

Write down your short term goals and you'll find that you'll be able to check more of them off your to do list than had you not written them down.

File chaos
File chaos

4. Lists Make Your Long Term Goals Seem More Realistic

Achieve your goals

Lose 40 pounds. Learn how to do your own taxes. Clean out the garage. Repair your credit report. Sometimes long term goals can seem unrealistic or unattainable. But creating a list, particularly the right type of list, can make anything seem manageable.

For example, "alphabetize my files" might seem like a daunting task, especially if you've allowed it build up for years. So break that down into a list of smaller, easy to achieve goals. Instead of writing down "alphabetize my files," you could write down "alphabetize all files beginning with the letter A today." Now it doesn't seem so overwhelming.

How to Write a To Do List - Organizing your to do list, prioritizing your to do list

Learn to prioritize
Learn to prioritize

5. Lists Will Help You Become Successful

Learn how to prioritize

Author Stephen Covey wrote a very popular book titled "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People."

In this best selling book, Covey recommends you put "first things first." Create a list, and then prioritize within that list. This will ensure that you get the most important items accomplished first, and once they're done, they're done. You can move on to the next. Prioritizing puts you on the front end of the unexpected.

Do you believe in the power of creating lists?

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Comments - Did you enjoy the article? Are lists a good thing or a bad thing? Any benefits we left off our list?

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 5 years ago

      Your lens has many valuable tips. Thanks!

    • profile image

      johnpaul12 5 years ago

      Great job! while I am reading your article, made me think to buy a planner already. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! ;)

    • profile image

      ChrisDiamond 6 years ago

      +1 like from me... good points about to do lists.

      I like the twist of "helping your relationships" by using to do lists. Never thought of that!

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 6 years ago

      I really need to get into the habit of creating lists. Great lens and good advice.

    • magicgeniewishl profile image

      magicgeniewishl 6 years ago

      I think you have covered it! Nice lens :)

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

      It helps me to stress less to have always some list with me. Nice lens :)

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 6 years ago

      I love lists! Sometimes I get on peoples nerves by talking about my lists all the time... Blessed :)

    • ImmatureEntrepr profile image

      ImmatureEntrepr 6 years ago

      @Othercatt: Wow. You might want to see a doctor about that. ;)

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago

      I live on the power of lists. Seriously. I write probably 20 a day.