A new year brings about a whole new slew of ‘organizational energy’ and we can’t lie - we love it. But then February rolls around and to be honest, we’re TIRED. Sometimes we feel like we need a new year reset for our new year reset!
Which brings us here. Today, we’re going to tackle one specific way we can get back into the organizational mode. This month: List Making.
Sounds simple, but there truly is an art to crafting a list that is thoughtful, not immediately stress-inducing, and doable. Find our best tips on the art of making a list below.
- PULL EACH LIST ITEM APART - BREAK IT ALL DOWN - One of the biggest mistakes people make when people creating a list is writing a vague, general item they need to get done rather than actionable items. For example, don’t just write ‘clean’ when creating a list - break it down into actionable things to cross off, i.e. ‘vacuum upstairs’, ‘wipe down counters’, etc. This is huge not only for your sense of accomplishment at the end but also for knowing exactly where to begin.
- MAKE LISTS OF EVERYTHING - When we’re talking about the art of making a list, we’re not just talking to-do lists here. We want to encourage you to create lists for all different areas of your life. For example, create a list for monthly goals, habits you want to incorporate, monthly favorites, gratitude lists, things you love about your life/partner/kids, etc. This is a great way to, frankly, remember your life! It goes by so fast and it’s important to notice the little things and check in with yourself often.
But the most important return on investment here? This practice makes list making FUN again. You’re not only making boring chore lists or lengthy to-do’s - and this mental shift when creating a fun list can help those more mundane lists seem easier.
- SEPARATION IS YOUR FRIEND - It’s tempting to brain dump every single thing you need to get done or buy at the store or want to achieve in life in one area. To that we say, separation makes the heart grow fonder - of list making.
Keep your daily to-do’s separate from your braindump-everything-that-needs-done-lists. Whether that’s two separate notebooks, two scraps of paper, or even just a single drawn line down the middle of the page, this separation will help your brain feel less overwhelmed.
- THE ASSISTANT POV - We LOVE this mindset when crafting a list. Imagine you are making a list for your assistant (you don’t need to actually have one!) and you need to make it super easy for her to execute the tasks. Use active verbs and be as specific as you can. To go one step further, you can even pretend you ARE the assistant when completing the tasks - if that helps you get through the list.
- CHOOSE YOUR VIBE AND USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE - One of the most important parts of a list is the medium and style with which you use. Sit and think about what you need out of a list - do you want it to immediately spark joy through color? Does lovely, minimal design make you feel calm enough to tackle the world? Does a digital list work best for your on-the-go lifestyle? Notepads or notebooks? We have plenty of these to choose from, by the way!
There’s no single right answer, so choose whatever feels the most right to you so that you actually get excited about looking at your lists throughout the day. This can make a huge difference!
- 2 MINUTE RULE - We love this tip from David Allen’s Getting Things Done - if any item on your list can be done in less than 2 minutes, then do it immediately. This helps knock out the little mind-consuming tasks and free up that brain space for other things. The energy it takes to not do a simple 2 minute task and think about it all day is way more than the energy it takes to get it over with right away.
- BE KIND TO YOURSELF & COUNT YOUR WINS - Above all else, be kind to yourself when making lists and getting things done throughout this life. Remember that your worth is not measured by your productivity. Take a break when you need to. Pat yourself on the back for completing even just one item on your list. Even consider creating a to-done list each day so you can tangibly see your accomplishments.
We hope these tips help you turn monotonous list-making into a true art form. We truly believe these can be game-changing! Head here to shop all of our list-making essentials.
Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram and share your favorites from this list and your own best list-making tips.