Why Everyone Needs to Start Writing Lists
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Health and Wellness

Why Everyone Needs to Start Writing Lists

What better way to prove the necessity of lists than with a list.

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Why Everyone Needs to Start Writing Lists

Since the start of the semester, I have begun incessantly writing lists: lists for the weekend, for schoolwork, packing, food, etc. And, because of this habit, I have a newfound love for all things relating to lists. A love that I have begun preaching to all those willing to listen. One of the greatest things about creating lists is the frequent goal setting that occurs and the satisfaction of achieving the goal. There are not many things in life I find as satisfying as crossing off a completed task (on a list, of course) that I've worked so hard to accomplish.

Before making lists, there is no better way to describe myself than extremely disorganized. Missing meetings, losing belongings, and forgetting to complete work were all too familiar occurrences. After I began making lists, I immediately noticed that I was significantly more organized and motivated than I'd ever been.

Life is based upon setting and achieving goals, so why not make it more organized by writing out these goals?

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Lists are a fabulous way to procrastinate, undercover of course.

I often find myself writing an excess amount of to-do lists, potential party playlists, and grocery lists as a means of avoiding schoolwork. I mean, there aren't many other procrastination options while sitting in the quiet room in the library. And the best part is, the lists are (usually) useful later!


As a former, extremely disorganized student, lists have proven useful in organizing myself.

True Story: I came back from a party at 3:30 A.M. one weekend and realized that I hadn't finished (nor submitted) my Astronomy homework that had been due at midnight. So, naturally, I rushed to complete the work. But for every hour it was late, 20 points were taken off. By the time I submitted the assignment, I was only able to receive a 20%.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F10%2F24%2F6358124607090860631521081226_tumblr_me0lljUNnx1rqs8ry_zps1eefa797.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=585&h=2b73641f99d40a17ded34b515adb08785b94e692d3c17f76eb569cb9d0b2a2f4&size=980x&c=28081365 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2015%252F10%252F24%252F6358124607090860631521081226_tumblr_me0lljUNnx1rqs8ry_zps1eefa797.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D585%26h%3D2b73641f99d40a17ded34b515adb08785b94e692d3c17f76eb569cb9d0b2a2f4%26size%3D980x%26c%3D28081365%22%7D" expand=1]


Lists are a very effective source of motivation.

The rush that comes as a result of being able checking off completed tasks is what really spurred my love of lists. This is especially true for tasks that were difficult to complete. The confidence boost I get each time I complete a task has proven extremely motivational in getting a head start on the remaining tasks.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F10%2F24%2F635812459504048767309634169_mike-in-monsters-university-type-a-1.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=661&h=4c5919b6e8809434ffc4626dd33fc273e49e125398cb207f643841823f92ca48&size=980x&c=565529325 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2015%252F10%252F24%252F635812459504048767309634169_mike-in-monsters-university-type-a-1.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D661%26h%3D4c5919b6e8809434ffc4626dd33fc273e49e125398cb207f643841823f92ca48%26size%3D980x%26c%3D565529325%22%7D" expand=1]


Forming and frequently checking lists are great reminders to complete tasks.

As a person who needs to set multiple alarms a day to remind myself to complete simple tasks, I know exactly how difficult it can be to remember things that need to be completed. Using lists to remind myself of things I need to buy at the grocery store is the perfect example of this. I have been known to go to the store with the intention of buying a few simple items and then leaving with none of them, resulting in many unnecessary trips later in the week to pick up said forgotten items. Writing a grocery list has proven itself extremely efficient (obviously). I definitely regret not starting this sooner.


Studies have shown that writing out information you want to remember generally improves your memory of those things later.

Before hearing of these studies I found that when I wrote out to-do lists, I didn't need to check back on the list very often to ensure that I completed all the tasks. I was sure I did. And I hadn't.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2015%2F10%2F24%2F6358124679934916271291516122_tumblr_inline_mkn8zzI8AJ1qz4rgp.gif&ho=http%3A%2F%2Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com&s=717&h=98c8196662ea86eb36216e697b51aa292e948f82cc08a962674c79afb0622c90&size=980x&c=1953720519 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2015%252F10%252F24%252F6358124679934916271291516122_tumblr_inline_mkn8zzI8AJ1qz4rgp.gif%26ho%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fcdn1.theodysseyonline.com%26s%3D717%26h%3D98c8196662ea86eb36216e697b51aa292e948f82cc08a962674c79afb0622c90%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1953720519%22%7D" expand=1]

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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