Lists to Organize Your Life

Last Update: January 28, 2020

I'm a lister. I have lists for everything. Lists have helped me stay organized throughout my life. I love lists and I can't live without them. Today, I'm going to tell you about my listing fetish, and how it has helped me as a Wealthy Affiliate blogger, and in life in general. So, let's discuss lists to organize your life, and see where they can take you.

How It Started

I'm not even sure. I remember I was somewhere between 8 and 10 years old. I had a bunch of art projects I wanted to make. So I listed them. That's my earliest memory. Since then, I have made lists of everything. To do lists are a must. Reminders, issues to address, shopping, daily routines, camping and travel lists, movies I want to watch, books I want to read, the LIST goes on and on.

Wikipedia says that "A list is any enumeration of a set of items."

"The word "list" can be tracked back to William Shakespeare, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. In Hamlet, the Bard refers to "a list of landlesse resolutes." From NPR

A Helpful List

At the top of Wikipedia's definition page for the word "list" you will find this statement: "For lists within Wikipedia, see Portal:Lists, Category:Lists, and List of lists of lists." When you click on List of lists of lists, you get this explanation: "This is a list of other articles that are lists of list articles on English Wikipedia. In other words, each of the articles linked here is an index of multiple lists on a topic. Some of the linked articles are themselves lists of lists of lists. This article is also a list of lists, and also a list itself."

I know, slightly confusing! But do click on it. There you will find lists on any subject, great for doing keyword searches and finding subjects to write about. I found it pretty helpful.

Why Do We Make Lists?

Lists bring order to chaos. I know that the first thing I do, when I'm handed a daunting project with a lot of details and off-shoots, is start making lists. It organizes the tasks, helps me figure out a time line, gets me started on the supplies I need, and in general, takes all that craziness and put it into some sense of order. Now the anxiety I was experiencing is gone and I have direction.

Lists organize your work. The grocery list is a biggie here, since cooking is not only my hobby, but also feeds us through the week. I make a list of recipes I want to make for dinners, then list the ingredients for each recipe. Then I list the breakfast and lunch items and their ingredients for my diet. Then, using that list, I go around to my pantry, freezer, cupboards, and refrigerator to see if I have the items already. If not, the items stay on that list.

When I'm done looking for items, then I'm ready to put in the grocery order. (I keep the list I use to put in the order, because there have been several occasions where the store has LOST my order!) Once my order is in, I put the dinners list on the white board on the fridge, and erase them as we eat them. This is also helpful when I'm at my full time job, because I make things ahead, and I put a check mark on the item when I'm done making each dish. Also, my husband knows what's for dinner. If he gets home before me, he can pick something on the list and get it ready for when I walk in the door.

Lists help us brain storm. I brain storm a lot. I know that I have a pretty disorganized way of thinking. My mind is usually way out ahead of my mouth or my fingers, and thoughts go zinging everywhere, in every direction. Listing helps slow down the thought process, and helps me get a grip on an outline or a timeline. If I didn't list, my thoughts would go whizzing away and would not be put to productive use.

Lists can jog your memory. In the days before cell phones, (yes, I'm THAT old!) I would write my grocery list on paper. Nine times out of ten, I would remember to take the list with me to the grocery store. But there was always a time when I would forget it. The cool thing about having written the list, even though I forgot it, was that I could remember most of what was on it. I could make it home with enough of the things on my list to make a few meals, and then visit the store later to get the few things that I missed.

I Passed the "Listing" Trait Along

We were recently at my daughter's house just after the Christmas holiday. We had stayed overnight, so the early riser (me) ventured into the kitchen to see if I could make coffee. While I was waiting for the brew, I ran across my daughter's Christmas list, magnetted to the fridge. And it really made me smile. She had a list for the cookies she would make, a list of whom to give cookies to, decoration list, shopping list, gift list, card list, party recipes list, and a calendar with baking, decorating, wrapping, cooking, shopping, and all the other Christmas tasks. On top of it all was a "Christmas Master List", all color coded with each item crossed off and dated. It was almost a photo copy of the list I used for the holiday at my home. It made my mama's heart warm to see her using the same technique.

I get a kick out of what my other daughter and her husband have adopted for listing's sake. They make a spread sheet. For every trip, every party, every event, they make out a spreadsheet. On it, are their flights, what time and where, who they are visiting and how long, etc. Their wedding went very smoothly because everyone had a copy of the spread sheet, and we knew where we were supposed to be and what time, and what we needed to bring. We like to joke around when it's time to pick a restaurant: invariably someone will pipe up and say, "What does the spread sheet say?" I think spread sheets are an awesome variation to listing.

Get Your List On

So if you are feeling like your project is too big, scary, scattered, or daunting, get out your pen and paper, and break your task down into lists. It will help organize your thoughts, help you make decisions, and help you remember every detail. Make a list of the articles you want to write. List your SEO steps. List the things you need to learn about. List your social media accounts. List your goals. Do each item and cross it off when you're done. Then see how calming and satisfying making a list can be, and how it can help you take your business to the next level.

Put your comments and questions below, and thank you for reading!

references:
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101056819
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List

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brichnow21 Premium Plus
Lists help de-clutter my mind!
Got an idea? Jot it down. My list tend to be in notebooks. I have list of all songs, artist and year, that give me a blog idea! Flip chart...I use that daily.
The other night I listed my notebooks as I have many! ...I made a LIST of my lists, Roxy!!
I think I get your good points!
Barb
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Mick18 Premium
Lists are always a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Have a wonderful Wednesday,
Mickey
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CStauber Premium
Great post. I make a grocery list, but that is about the only list I do. I need to make lists of things to do, so I will stop being so overwhelmed at everything, not just WA but my personal like as well.

Take care
Charlotte
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cliffordjack Premium
I didn't know I was apart of the list makers, 'nice read'
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