My Mom always makes lists. Always has, and probably always will. Grocery lists, to-do lists – you name it, my mom has listed it. She’d even pencil in things like Watch The Bachelorette or Make Jell-O, as if by refraining from writing these tasks down, she’d somehow forget she wanted to watch her TV show at 8.
I love my Mom more than anyone in the world, and I think she might be onto something.
1. List-making can reduce anxiety: how many times have you thought to yourself, “I have a million things to do, how am I going to manage to do it all?” A list will help you ease those fears. As soon as you start writing things down on paper (or even in your smartphone) and get it out of your head, your stress levels will drop.
2. Similarly, list-making can increase your self esteem. One of the best feelings is crossing something off of your list. Once you do this, you’ll feel an amazing sense of accomplishment. Even writing the simplest things down can be a self-esteem booster – you already have an item you know you’ll be able to check off! This really helps to keep you motivated and productive throughout the day.
3. List-making helps you organize your thoughts. That’s one of my favorite things about writing stuff down in general: putting your thoughts to paper helps you declutter and decompress, and isolates your daily tasks from the thousands of other things taking up space in your mind. List-makers find that their thoughts will, in turn, be less jumbled in all areas of their lives.
4. Lists also really encourage you to focus on what matters. You’ll always have in front of you a reminder of your goals, and with each little checkmark, you’re reminded again that you’re one step closer to achieving what you set out to do.
My tip? Make a mental list every morning. Lists don’t have to be tangible. Start the day by listing off the things you’re grateful for. Today, the sun was shining and it was perfect shorts weather. Try embracing the list-making lifestyle, and maybe you’ll find that it improves your mindset and your days.