In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm quite the fan of a list. I have a list for everything. Favourite books, movies, TV shows I've watched, shopping, wish-lists, present lists, packing lists - I've done them all many, many times. Sometimes I even get so carried away that I write a master list of all the other lists I want to write. Some of you might consider that a bit OCD, I like to think of it as quirky.
But heck, let's be honest, I'm so addicted to list-making that I'm writing a list post about the joys of making lists. And I know I'm not alone.
Lists used to be things geeks had, and that mums made out of necessity to stop themselves forgetting to buy baby wipes while the kids scream their way around the supermarket. But recently the world has finally accepted that we all have a bit of a stationery addiction, and now that the idea of Bullet Journaling has gone viral they've pretty much become a necessity for managing our busy 21st Century lives. My BuJo, which I promise you can have a look at very soon, is stacked full of the things, and I've got ideas for about 20 more already lined up and waiting for the right moment.
If, like me, you're a dedicated list writer, you'll already know most of these benefits. You can read this post and give yourself a big ol' pat on the back for being rad and super-duper organised. You're owning it. But on the off-chance that you just aren't a fan, or maybe you quite like a list but wouldn't call yourself an obsessive just yet, consider this something of a call-to-action. Welcome to my manifesto championing a full-blown list addiction!
1. Lists keep you organised
Let's start off nice and easy, shall we? You know this one already, but it's always worth reiterating because good Lord, I don't understand how anybody gets anything done without a list. If you're writing lists properly, they're like living creatures. A list isn't finished until you say so because you can come back to it and add more things WHENEVER you want.
For the truly advanced, you can even organise the lists you use to keep you organised. Maybe that sounds crazy, but that way you always know exactly where to find what you need at the exact moment you need it. Just saying.
2. They clear your mind
Loads of Bullet Journal devotees sing the everlasting praises of the 'brain dump' page, where you can pretty much write anything that's on your mind and clear out the fluff flying around in there. I am personally not a fan of this method. To me, a list is a thing of beauty, an organised and carefully thought out collection of things that go together. A brain dump is sort of like the list-making equivalent of having the volume on an odd number. It bothers me.
If I write about all different things on one page I know I'll be so overwhelmed with information that I won't take any of it in, and so the whole process becomes pretty pointless. Sure it's not in my brain anymore, but now I have no idea where it is.
That's not to say that lists aren't wonderful for clearing your mind out of rubbish and helping you de-stress. I just like to have categories to help me find anything I might decide is still relevant later on.
3. The satisfaction of ticking things off
Maybe we're all still basically 7-year-old kids who just want a gold star? Who knows, but there are few joys in life as pure as ticking some things off a mammoth to-do list and giving yourself a pat on the back for being amazing.
You could pretty much run the world, that's how awesome you are right now.
4. Lists remind you how much you've achieved
It's so easy to feel like an utter, lazy failure unless you've completed a triathlon, written 7 blog posts, been promoted and done all your housework. In one day. And it's even easier still to clean forget about all those other little things you did that filled in your time and start feeling like all you achieved was sitting on the sofa eating ice cream.
I like to look back on lists I've made in the past of tasks and things to do to remind myself how productive I've actually been. You might not be Beyoncé just yet, but you made a good go of it.
5. They're fun to make
Maybe this one's subjective, but I really enjoy writing lists. They don't all have to be filled with chores and important things you must remember to do or the world as we know it will end.
Writing lists of your favourite things, all the cool places you've been or all the things you're proud of is not only good fun but it can make you feel so happy it's ridiculous. It's like a hug on a page.
6. Lists help you keep everything in perspective
Sometimes I find myself getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I have to get done. It's easy to drown in thoughts of 'oh crap, I've got to do this, and what about that? And wait, I need to call that person first, and send all that stuff to someone else.' Then you wake up in the middle of the night thinking 'look, I'm definitely going to fail. I might as well just lie here forever in a duvet cocoon and wait for it to go away.'
WRITE A LIST. If you're worrying about getting that assignment done on time, write down every single tiny thing that you need to do to make it happen. Then put them in order and have a cup of tea. Suddenly everything seems so much more manageable when you have an overview and a clear idea of how you're going to get where you want to be.
7. Lists justify pretty stationery
Just in case you needed any more convincing, having a list-habit pretty much justifies your stationery addiction. You want a nice new notebook? You probably need it. Fancy those new pens? Think how much better your lists will look when you can colour coordinate everything.
It might be a bit superficial but, let's be honest, you're much more likely to keep up your list habit and actually look at them regularly if they're pretty. I didn't make the rules.