Write. Do. Tick. Repeat.

by Andy Youings November 18, 2016

Write. Do. Tick. Repeat.

Seriously, who doesn’t love a list? Groceries, check. Christmas gifts, check. Films to see before you die, check. And the list of lists goes on. But why do we love a list? As far as we can tell there are two main reasons, firstly organisation and secondly satisfaction of completing the tasks. Lets consider this in more detail, in the most appropriate format, a list of course.

The joy of organisation:

  1. Clarity – taking the jumble of work, socialising, shopping and putting it in one organised place, helps clear the mind
  2. Prioritising – once it’s all down on paper, you can decide better what to do when
  3. Making it memorable – once written it can’t be forgotten. It also means that tasks we’re avoiding need to be completed too.

I can get satisfaction:

  1. Reward – in small but no insignificant form, ticking or striking something from a list is a great reward, using a pen you love adds to this pleasure
  2. Comfort – everyone’s parents kept lists, you kept them at school and beyond. The familiarity of writing a list is comforting, it’s a tradition we don’t want to break. Whether it was a list of places your grandparents wanted to take you, or a list of groceries your mum kept on the fridge for the next big shop. We surely must keep lists because the people we love did, it kept them sane (as sane as anyone’s family could be!) and we want the same for us.

So where to start when writing a list? Well of course we would say with the stationery, but it really does depend on what works best for you. Firstly, think about what the list is for; if it’s for gift ideas, keep a small notebook and pen with you at all times to scribble down thoughts as they come to you. You never know when inspiration can strike.

Shopping lists are likely to be disposable, use the back of envelopes, old greetings cards and pages from catalogues to recycle paper before they ultimately end up in the bin.

If you’re looking to get creative or for bigger projects, think about how you can keep your list front of mind. For large tasks like planning an event or perhaps some interior design try putting each action or idea on a sticky note and popping them all on a wall in front of you. You can re-order to your heart’s content, edit without confusing scribbles and ultimately find a solution and list of actions that are achievable. Once you’re done with the post-it wall shuffle it’s time to commit it to your journal.

As for work, well everyone has their rhythm. Perhaps you write a list each week or even one per day? Our best advice here is to write your list with a clear head, so review it every morning before you start your day and make sure everything is still relevant. Tick off anything you forgot from the day before (as if!) and then add to the list. If you want to be super duper organised use coloured pens and highlighters to help you prioritise your day (hurrah – you’ll need to buy more pens).

If we haven’t made it clear by now, we love lists. They give us clarity and power to achieve, what more could you need from any task, even if it’s cleaning the dishes!

Andy Youings
Andy Youings


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