How lists can make you better at work and life
I am a huge fan of lists. It might sound boring or cliched but you know what, this is that one thing that was there all along but you never realized how it can absolutely change your life. No exaggeration.
Lists make you organized
We all know how we think we would be leading better, more productive lives if only we could get a little more organized. Well, there is your solution: lists. Don’t do anything fancy, just grab a notepad or your phone and start listing down what you need to achieve. I am not saying that writing it down is going to change you into a different (or absolutely productive) human being but it can certainly be a major step towards it.
They formalize your objectives
“People who want to appear clever rely on memory. People who want to get things done make lists.”
– Peter McWilliams
Before a list, it was just stuff in your mind that you might or might not have done something with at some point in time. Now, it has been formalized and you have it in a quantified, concrete form. It is more likely that you will end up accomplishing something, if not everything.
From to-do to to-be lists
So, here is how my Monday starts. I come to the office, I start my laptop and I open Google Keep. The first thing I do is make my week’s to-do list (not necessarily all professional). Then, I break it down and divide it into days and set reminders/deadlines for each task. What happens is, I don’t anymore have a (mind) list of things that I thought I would do but it slipped my mind. As soon as something pops into my head, I add it to my list.
The daily/weekly to-do lists are not it. Lists can also help you keep track of your long term goals — Your to-be list! I wanted to be a blogger. Well, I put it up on my list and then broke it down from finding a theme to fully setting it up and then to writing posts. I want to be a community service worker. I have it on my list and I WILL get there.
Remember ironman’s list from Avengers?
Well, it can all start from a list, no?
Cope with emotions, people and everyday situations
It might sound a little far fetched at first but it really works. Whenever someone asks me that they’re going through a certain something and what should they do. I tell them to make a list. A friend was not sure whether to quit her job or not, I told her to make a list. Another friend wasn’t sure whether to say yes or no to this guy and I said MAKE A LIST. Make an actual list on paper (or your phone or tab) of why you should and shouldn’t do something. Weigh them both. You wouldn’t have to ask anyone about anything.
There are days when you feel unusually down or demotivated or depressed. Your list is your counselor. Make a list of the following:
- Potential reasons you might be feeling whatever you’re feeling (You fought with someone, you didn’t get enough sleep, etc.)
- Why you shouldn’t be feeling that (It hinders productivity, you have good food to eat, etc.)
- How to get out of that? (Going out, chocolate, sleeping, going out with a friend, etc.)
Similarly, someone behaved in a certain way or did something and now you’re battling with why would they have done that. Help yourself and make a list of all the good things they have done for you and suddenly this one thing would stop bothering you.
The satisfaction of ticking things off
This is the best part of lists. The magnificent feeling of satisfaction you get when you tick things off your majestic list. Nothing compares to that. Not only did you formalize your objectives but also successfully achieved them. You are now bound to win at life.
We as human beings are generally forgetful. We have the tendency to forget about anything and everything. Lists here serve as our savior. They bring order to our life. You might think that you’re leading a normal life but start listing things down and you’ll see how your life transforms for the better.
I realize that this post isn’t exactly related to SQA, that is why I have an ‘Extraneous’ category there. But while it is not exactly related to software or quality or testing, this is something that can generally help any person be more productive so I didn’t want to hold it back. Cheers!
Originally published at qafrenzy.wordpress.com on June 23, 2016.
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