I know...I know. What does list making have to do with real estate? Well, anyone who works in any line of work--even if they are a full time household executive--needs to have some sort of organization that works for them. For me, it's the making of lists. Lots of lists. Notes in lists, tasks in lists, items that I need in lists. Lists of ideas and plans. Let's face it. Some may feel I have a problem with this, but, I feel this is a healthy and helpful addiction and I hope some of you feel validated by the end of this or are encouraged to start the list journey on your own!
What (is a list) - A list is a piece of paper (digital or old school) that has items on it. Period. That is it. The items vary, like I shared above. That is the initial definition. However, a list is a valuable tool in the hands of everyone who uses one. For me, they are like a second brain when done correctly. They help me remember important things. They can record quick ideas. They are great at planning a dinner, party or celebration of any kind. The feeling you get when you cross an item off on your list is nearly intoxicating! When you have so many things in your life you CAN'T control, writing down and then checking off a completed item just feels like power in my hands.
Why (do I need a list) - You mean besides to make me feel like I have some measure of control? I need a list because the visual shows me what I need to deal with and it's not just floating around out there in an abstract way. It makes a task more finite--that whatever job or project has a beginning, middle and an END. When you are in the middle of a large scale project, sometimes the end seems like it will never come. Waiting on closing day for a new home, waiting for your renovation to be over, waiting on the day you are having a new baby--all of these things are tasks that DO have a definite end date--but when the waiting for these tasks they take a toll on you. Having something that is getting checked off along the way allows you to SEE that the end is truly near. For me, that helps my anxiety the most.
When (do I need a list) - I need a list any time I need to remember something, anytime I need to plan something, anytime I need to work out a problem with someone or something and I definitely need one where money is concerned. Having a list when you shop, helps you budget your money and keep your spending in control. A list of which bills to pay, so you don't miss anything saves you past due costs. Making a budget itself is a list of all your expenses and income and how to balance the two more efficiently. When you see it on paper-you see what you have or don't have.
Where (do I have a list) - I get a little crazy with this--because I OVER DO the "where" the most. I have a list on a calendar for household things, one on my desk for work things I need to do daily, other work lists (on my desk) for tasks that come up that need immediate attention. I have a list (called a menu--in my kitchen) to plan my meals, a list to shop for those meals and a list of future things I need to do so I don't forget. I get Christmas lists from my family around the holidays that I keep on the computer to make sure I get those items and keep all that spending in my Christmas budget. I also have a lot of other lists on my computer/phone related to work. OH and my purse. I usually end up with a list in my purse!
How (will I end this addiction?) - I don't think I will ever end this addiction. List-making has helped me keep my budget in line, keep housework done (for the most part) and helped me keep self-motivated when I am working from home. It has eased my mind when I have no idea what the future holds for my family during rough times. List-making has helped the time to pass on long road trips or sitting in a waiting room. Some lists have kept me from falling apart when I had huge responsibilities heading my way that I had NO IDEA how I was going to deal with them. Writing each item down and dealing with it one at a time made those situations manageable.
So, I say, jump in with me! Start a list. Once you see how it works and how you feel when you can cross those things off...I bet you will start to have different lists...lots of them!