Last night when we got home from a weekend away, I wrote down two things I wanted to accomplish. I penned them on the white board that fell from the wall but that’s resting on our desk. I wrote them there mostly because I like writing on boards. I could have just as easily scribbled them onto the calendar blotter that’s stained with coffee rings that we as a temporary blotter until we got a real plastic blotter. Anyway, I wrote TI Forgive (for an article I’d been meaning to write for Teen Identity) and Pics, because I had about three outings worth of photos I had not yet cleared from my camera and gotten to the people with whom we shared excursions.
I finished both those endeavors before the night was over. I finished the article less than hour after I wrote the task on the board.
I am frankly astonished. I am not sure I would have gotten these things done in short order had I not written them down.
I’d never really been much of a list-maker. At work, my list of writing tasks comes in the form of flagged emails. That way I can sort them by flag and the ones with the red flag end up on top and those are the ones that require further action. This works for me. But list-making outside work…I didn’t even get a calendar or a planner until the embarrassingly recent past. I sort of just relied on my memory. I guess I realized that wasn’t working.
Outside of work and plans with family and friends, I’m prompted to think about how list-making might raise my game. What if I made a list of everything I wanted to accomplish in August? Before the Jewish holidays? In the fall? By the end of the year? I’d be really clear on what I want to do. And once I’m clear about that. I can get clear about how to get there. I can call on reinforcements. I can get advice. I can make plans. This could be interesting. It could be an experiment in the power of list-making. I’d have to have variables and constants. I was actually looking for research on why list-making is so powerful. I couldn’t find anything. Maybe an experiment is in order. Or maybe the benefits are just so obvious no one ever bothered to study it. Either way, I feel like I should give it a try.