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Why Lists Are Significant

Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2023
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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Lists are significant. Making a list is a great way to organize thoughts, ideas, and information. Even Santa uses lists to keep track of all the good girls and boys. He not only checks it once, but he checks it twice! Learn how lists can be useful in your everyday life.

Lists equal top-notch tools!

Lists are valuable tools for daily use. Most people write regular to-do lists and maintain address lists, grocery lists, errand lists, and more.

The list “connection”

Lists frequently contain connected items. Some contain types of sequences, such as alphabetical or numerical orders of importance. A bucket list is a great example of items connected by theme. In this list, people outline experiences and achievements they hope to have in a lifetime.

Lists are helpful tools. Let’s explore some of the wonderful things lists do:

  • Help folks stay focused and task oriented. The act of creating a daily to-do list can increase focus. It allows people to see in writing the tasks that need to be accomplished. Once everything is written down, list writers can create a plan of action, perhaps tackling one item at a time until everything is done. Since it is easy for busy people to get distracted, a to-do list invites people to stay on track and get things accomplished.
  • Help us maintain order: People often find it difficult to multi-task, meaning they face challenges executing multiple tasks over a certain period. Multi-tasking is often hectic and stressful. Maintaining lists, such as inventory or checklists, helps people achieve and sustain order. Importantly, it allows them to organize their time well. Lists, such as those for grocery shopping, can be arranged by aisle to allow folks to shop quickly and efficiently. Thus, it’s a time saver!
  • Help us to prioritize: A lack of order and prioritization can lead to ineffectiveness, confusion, stress, and procrastination. Maintaining a list such as “Monday’s tasks” clarifies what needs to be done at the start of the work week. Lists are sensible, yet it’s important to take it one step further – by prioritizing what needs to be done. Typically, the most important task gets top billing. Then, the others follow suit, in order of importance, with the least important tasks at the list’s bottom. One should strive to work on the list in order, giving the most attention to top priority tasks. Should one unfortunately be unable to complete a lower task, it can get moved to “Tuesday’s tasks” and find its new spot on the list.
  • Help us remember things: Our brains have a lot to process. When busy people rely on memory alone, important details may be overlooked or forgotten. So, lists help us remember things. Perhaps you had to write vocabulary words repeatedly as a school assignment. The act of writing things down also reinforces memory. When folks write down a grocery list, they are more likely to remember most of the items they need to buy – even without looking at the list. Additionally, lists help us organize vast amounts of information, such as addresses, telephone numbers, birthdays, and more.
  • Helps us reach goals: Lists are practical as they permit us to organize, manage, and remember stuff. They also increase our capabilities by holding us accountable. For example, when an item on a work checklist is completed, there is something deeply satisfying about that accomplishment. Lists enable us to see the big picture. To write down and visualize what needs to be done gives motivation to follow through.

Digital lists

While lists can be handwritten, they can also be created on smartphones via the phone’s technology or an app. Many people use computers to make lists. Products like Microsoft Lists allow for the importation and sharing of data for projects requiring collaboration.

Kids can make lists, too!

Santa makes lists and checks them twice! But lists are not just for adults. Kids can get in on the action by making wish lists for presents from Santa. These lists are not only beneficial for gift buyers, but they teach kids that lists are effective information sharing tools as well.

For lists of gifts for teachers, check out AMAC’s article entitled Top teacher gifts

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