Who likes to make a list? Checking off feels good but making the list? Not so much.
It may be that you`re not meant to be a list-maker that lists don`t work for you the way we`re told they`re `supposed to.`
It takes some thinking to figure out what works for you, if traditional, linear organizing methods don`t resonate with you. Linear and organized may just be too boring and ineffective for some of us.
What My Grandmother Taught Me about Lists & Calendars
If you`ve always relied on your memory, it`s a source of pride that you can remember as much as you do, isn`t it? A decade ago or so, my grandmother was the first to teach me this. A decade or so ago, at the age of 85, I noticed her memory wasn`t as sharp as it had been. And it was sharp. She kept everything in her head, proudly so.
efore I got into the organizing business, I knew from my management background that it was important to manage people differently. I didn`t realize back then that people organize their minds and stuff so differently from each other.
So naturally I suggested she keep lists ` she resisted.
I suggested a calendar ` she did buy one and write things down. But she never looked at the calendar after that. It turns out that this didn`t matter.
Writing down calls, appointments and things to do created a visual impression of what was in her head, which helped her remember more. And, the act of writing also helped her remember more. She didn`t need to look at the calendar or list after all that because she had what she needed for support.
Audio or Visual?
Talking out loud to yourself, using a tape recorder, using software such as Dragon Naturally ` all are effective options to create your list if you`re more auditory than visual.
Sometimes, there’s too much internal noise to keep your list in your head.
Or all those `to do`s` swarm around like bees, with none emerging as the queen bee, the number one priority for the day.
If this sounds familiar, try talking out loud. It reduces the internal noise, makes it easier to set priorities, and ferret out next steps.
One client uses the auditory option to help her process incoming mail and papers. It is easier for her to talk through the next steps than to write them down. And it`s more fun, so increases the likelihood she`ll do the mail/paper processing more often.
When I`m stuck and can`t figure out what to do next I pull out my pocket recorder and start talking. Or if I have lots of ideas for a workshop or article, I’ll pull it out, too.
Some of the recording is stream of processing which I may later ignore, but I empty my head of ideas. This makes it far easier to reflect on and figure out my focus for the article or project. Less noise.
Yes, You Can Make Lists Beautiful & Fun
If you run your household, no matter how large or small, there is a LOT to keep track of:
For household CEO`s: OrganizedAtoZ all-in-one notepads
Or this weekly view which sits on your refrigerator.
`Practical but gorgeous`, for moms.
Mind maps: My favorite book by Joyce Wycoff is what I recommend to learn the value of and basics of mind mapping. There are plenty of websites, but I like this one for its clear explanations and demonstrations of mind mapping. Every chapter is mind mapped. Mind mapping is visual, auditory and kinesthetic — and artistic for sure. When I`m creating something new, which has a lot of steps and moving parts to it, I use a simple piece of colored paper or flip chart page to start. I choose the colored markers or crayons that seem to fit the project, and start my pictures. Gets it out of my head, makes it fun, creative and colorful. And I don`t need to think in a linear, step fashion. I draw and write whatever comes into my head. I order the steps later on.
For artistic, creative entrepreneurs, Lisa Sonora Beam’s approach to creating your plans is divine and irresistible … check it out in this blog post series.