One thing I love doing is making lists. However, it's no good making them unless you make them for a reason. I am pretty sure I'm not alone when it comes to this list-making obsession but my question to you is: how many different lists do you have and also, do you make too many of them?
For this post, I will go through all of the lists I make, why I make them and also how I ensure that they are utilised to their full potential.
The first list I will talk about is my blog post list. This may not be applicable to you so feel free to scroll down onto my next list. As some of you know, I use my custom made blog list planning pages to jot down blog post ideas I may have. Then, for every two months, I use one sticky note where I transfer some of these blog post ideas to a designated month. I only started this sticky-note business a month ago and it has worked really well for me as it ensures that I have blog posts planned for each month and that if I ever hit that dreaded 'bloggers' block', I will have a back-up plan.
Having a master blog post ideas list isn't a bad thing for me; but being able to make a 'sub-list' where I move these ideas to the month where I will actually write that post ensures that I utilise my blog-related time efficiently. You might ask the question as to why I don't just write these ideas directly under a month instead of onto the master list but my answer to that would be that, sometimes, my blog post ideas are dud ones. Having a main list means I can sift through the ideas I don't think are so good, just cross them out and then transfer the better ideas to a month.
I hope that explanation hasn't confused any of you!
My next list is my 'to-buy' list. I rarely add things to this list as it is designed more for longer-term things as opposed to a grocery shopping list. There are exceptions to that rule (note the danish pastry one!) but on the whole, this list has been a permanent fixture for the past year or so. I'm slowly checking things off but sometimes, I find I don't want or need an item anymore and so to cross it out isn't necessarily a negative thing to do. After all, this is a list that involves me spending money; as opposed to a to-do list, for example, where ticks are preferred to crosses!
Having a list like this can be a good thing for those more expensive items you are lusting after. It will give you time to mull things over to see if the purchase would be a justified one and save you money in the long run. For example, I have a Clarisonic on my list and it has been there for quite some time. I'm still undecided about it so it will stay there for the time being. On the other hand, I had 'new trainers' on there for quite a few months and having that on my list gave me the time to research which pair to get and also find the best price for it. Yet another example is 'dermatix' (you can just about see it in the photo) where I have decided against it and so a cross was placed next to it.
I then have a 'to watch' list of films. I'm slowly making my way through this list. I find this list quite helpful for those times when you want to watch a film but are unsure which one to plump fors this list kind of acts like my film decision-maker.
My final list in my binder is my 'books to read' list. It is actually quite a long list although it doesn't look it. That is because the rest of the list is hiding behind the one shown in the photo! This list is also used as an aid for my book challenge to read 52 books in 52 weeks.
There is one other list I have neglected to mention and that is the one where I write down what parcels and letters I am expecting to receive. I have blogged about that already.
Because of my love to tick things off (or cross things off too, if you're talking about my shopping list), I find having lists is a good way of motivating me to watch the films I have wanted to watch, blog and read books! The one tip I can give with regards to making lists is that: it is all well and good making these lists and enjoying that process, but ultimately, you need to refer back to them on a regular basis to ensure that you are actually ticking things off your list! Yes, it is fun to have a list of things you want to do before you are 30; yes, it is fun to have a list of 101 things you want to do in 1,001 days and yes, it is fun to have a bucket list - but when your list builds up quicker than you can check things off, you have to question whether you're actually spending too much time adding to and making lists, instead of actually doing anything about those pre-existing list items.
You might have noticed that I have one major list missing: a to-do list. However, I don't have a set to-do list because I write my to-dos in my planner as you can see in each of my weekly posts and this has worked fine for me. I understand that the system I have in place might not work for everyone and to be fair, it has taken me a fair few years to come to this 'state of planning nirvana'.