Why You Should Make More Lists
Making a list helps me to organize the things I have to do in many different ways. I can organize them by day, time of day, or by most importance. This is great, but it’s not the only reason I make a to do list.
People say that the sweetest sound to a person’s ear is the sound of their name. Personally, I believe that learning someone’s name is a great way to make a good impression. I have purchased courses and studied so much over the years to master the art of learning names. I even know people who can walk into a room of 3,250 people and remember every name when they leave. Bill Clinton is said to be able to do this. I use a field notebook for my to do lists. Whenever I learn a new name, I record this in my field notebook along with a little sentence about the person. Writing down a little note about the person will help me remember them in the future. I refer back to the notebook when I need to remember someone’s name in a pinch, so it comes in handy.
Creating Mental Space
One of the main reasons I make lists is to get the unnecessary thoughts and worries out of my mind. I have a Leuchtturm notebook as well as my field notebook with a cover for this purpose. The field notebook fits right into my pocket, and the Leuchtturm notebook is great because it has a dotted grid instead of traditional lines. The field notebook is great for times when I don’t have the regular notebook on hand.
I like to write things down to get them out of my mind so that I can fully focus on what is in front of me. If I am having family time, I don’t want to be thinking about little to dos. I write them down so they exist outside my head, then I can be fully present with my family. I coached with a guy named Justin Shannon while I was still coaching football. He worked under Jackie Sherrill, head coach of Mississippi State. Justin was responsible for making sure Sherrill had everything he needed on the sidelines during the game. Justin saw my lists in my office and the ones I brought with me onto the practice field while we worked together at Tennessee Tech University. He said that my always having pen and paper with me reminded him of Coach Sherrill. During games, Coach Sherrill would have a list that he wrote on constantly throughout the game. He wasn’t taking notes on the game, though. The notes were about things he needed to get from the store or things he needed to take care of later on. He did this to stay present while coaching. When he wrote his lists, he wasn’t distracted.
I have a lot of ideas that come to me at random times. I like to record them right away so that I can refer to them later to judge if they should be put into action. I never want to miss a million-dollar idea because I didn’t bother to write it down! I keep my lists in notebooks so that I will always have them to refer back to. I love the digital age, but I am old fashioned at heart. I love to write things down with pen and paper rather than store it in the cloud. Writing things down with my hands makes them easier to remember. I spend enough time staring at the computer screens for work. I like to take a break from that with pen and paper.
Sense of Accomplishment
Striking an item off a to do list is satisfying like nothing else. I love the feeling of setting a goal, accomplishing it, and marking it off the list. Going to sleep at night knowing all my to dos are crossed off is a great feeling.
Text By Thomas Cox and Martha Kendall Custard
- Thomas Cox