Help! I Hate Lists!
Actually, I personally loooove lists! Seriously! I have lists for my lists. They are the lifeblood of my existence and the key to my organizational success.
There’s something very liberating about writing down all my to-do’s. I don’t fear forgetting them, and at the same time, they’re extracted from my overloaded brain, no longer swirling around incessantly in the chaos of my mind! And checking off items completed brings a euphoric sense of accomplishment.
I really do love lists.
But I’ve come to realize that not everyone does.
I don’t necessarily understand rejection of this organizational technique, but I’ve accepted it.
My youngest son refused to make lists. And it drove me crazy. While I drove him crazy trying to get him to make lists. It was a no-win.
And there are many more non-conformists. Lots of em’.
It freaks me out.
I equate list making with being organized.
In all fairness, though, I realize that isn’t necessarily true. There are highly organized people who have never utilized the beauty of a list.
But what about the non-list makers who are organizationally challenged and have serious deficiencies with time management? Those highly capable, intelligent souls who are destined to rely on methods other than list making to help them realize success.
I’ve got some ideas!
Here’s my Top 7 Organizational Success Tips for List Haters:
- Use your phone – Traditional lists may be boring or ineffective to some, but using your phone’s calendar and alarm notification feature can be a life saver. Program important tasks and dates as soon as you become aware of them. Need to prepare something ahead of time or require an early reminder? Program that in too!
- Be realistic – When setting out to accomplish a task, set realistic goals. Without the benefit of ‘seeing’ a timeline on paper, it’s easy to stray from a streamlined approach. Mentally process the task in chunks, setting up reasonable checkpoints along the way. Remember, you want success, not failure!
- Say NO! – Sometimes ‘NO’ is the right answer. Just because you don’t have upcoming commitments written down somewhere doesn’t mean you are necessarily available. Methodically spot check obligations, and if at all unsure what your response should be, just say ‘NO’. Our human nature is to take on too much, so error on the side of caution.
- Prioritize – A request or task may ‘appear’ to be next in line, but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically the most important one. Give thoughtful consideration to the order of events and keep in mind your TOP THREE priorities. Even if you don’t quite remember the rest, your ‘’top three” will keep you on track. As tasks are completed, mentally update your top three spots.
- Reward Yourself – Sometimes a carrot isn’t such a bad thing, especially if it means you’ll complete a task with more efficiency than otherwise. Within reason, have a specific reward paired to a specific task. Did you get that? Be specific! Chances are the incentive will pay off well!
- Start an Action Team – Without a list to hold you accountability, telling a trusted friend of a goal to be completed may provide a more desirable form of accountability. We’ve created an Action Team Guide that goes beyond just sharing tasks with your team member, but also promotes an opportunity to grow a mutually beneficial relationship with a brother or sister in Christ. Check it out here.
- Consider the Consequences – Looking forward to accomplishing a goal is one kind of motivation, but considering the undesirable consequences from not following through and completing a task is another. Sometimes a little negative motivation isn’t such a bad thing!
And if all else fails, maybe just break down and make a list? And use it. Try it … you might like it!
The truth is, it’s not about the list itself. It’s about finding your method of success, sticking to it, and bringing your ‘A’ game!
Do you have a favorite ‘non-list’ tip for organization or time management? Please comment below!