10 Reasons I Love Lists

It’s safe to say I am obsessed with lists. I love the numbers lined up neatly on the side of the paper, the sense of organization, the details of what needs to be accomplished. In all honesty, I never have just one list. I have multiple lists, all for different facets of my life. If you are a list-maker, you know what I mean.

This week, it turns out my lists were an illusion, a futile attempt to keep my life simple and organized. Sometimes the best-laid plans . .

I will never stop making lists, but after this week, I began to wonder: Do lists give us the illusion that we can accomplish more than we really can? Do they truly keep us on task? How many other people are list-makers? Are any of them famous? I did some research.

It seems lists are common among some very well-known, accomplished people, celebrities like Madonna, Ellen Degeneres, and Martha Stewart. But that’s not all, Benjamin Franklin was well-known for his lists, as were Thomas Jefferson and Charles Lindbergh.

I guess I’m in good company.

If famous people make lists, then they must know something the rest of us can learn from. They must know how lists can turn a hectic life into a simple and organized one. They probably also know that some weeks, even the grandest plans can go awry.

Because I love lists, I have created one just for you:

The top ten reasons I keep a list:


  1. They keep me organized. I have a list for each area of my life, including work, website tasks, and home chores. More than that, I keep lists of books I want to read, and movies I desire to watch.
  2. They help me remember. I don’t have to rely on my memory for all the things that need to be done.
  3. They keep my brain free for more important things. The less I have running around in my brain, the more I can focus on what needs to be done each day.
  4. I know what I have to do. No guessing, wondering, or thinking about it.
  5. I know what I have accomplished. I love crossing items off my list.
  6. It takes away stress. Less to think about equals less stress.
  7. It gives me peace. (Which only makes sense if there is less stress.)
  8. It gives me control. In a world that feels totally off-kilter sometimes, it’s nice to have a little control.
  9. It keeps me focused. I know what needs to be done, and I do it.
  10. I am less likely to procrastinate.

Yes, sometimes I wonder if lists make my life more complicated. It’s one more thing I need to do. But then again, without them, I wonder how much I would accomplish. I wonder if I would remember the twenty things that need to be done on my website, the people I need to call, or the essays I still need to write.

This week didn’t go as planned, but that won’t stop me from making lists. The pieces I didn’t get done this week are just transferred to next week, and I don’t even have to think about it.

I will always love lists.

Are you a list maker?

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