Why Do People Like Lists?
A list is a schedule, tally, program, outline, or time table.
Lists help us remember things. They relieve stress and focus the mind. Apparently they keep us from procrastinating. If lists are supposed to bring order to chaos then why do I feel Ugh about them?
Apparently our brains can only deal with seven choices before we become overwhelmed. When we’re faced with too many options we’re more likely to do the opposite of what we need to do (Scientific fact).*
Yesterday I had a list of domestic chores to wade through and health insurance to sort out. Instead I went shopping for maternity wear and made an Easter Parade bonnet! If I had made my list shorter, would my bank account be k-chinging to the tune of medicare rebates? Hmm, probably not. Nonetheless, rather than bore you (and me) to tears with a list that would read like this: Wipe down all appliances, clean and clear all flat surfaces, iron school uniforms…argh big yawn… I set myself a goal…to make a list that I can bravely attempt to stick to. My goal (if I chose to accept it) is to make 7 To Do Lists, with 7 Things To Do on each, for a period of 7 days.
Why seven? Science states that anymore and my focus will veer off track and straight back into shopping and crafts. Each To Do list is to take no more than 10 minutes to illustrate, and to be in someway reflective of how I feel about lists, and motivational if at all possible.
These lists will probably have my every day To Do’s: the washing of dishes and peeling of potatoes, however there will be no ‘Practice Kindness,’or ‘Eat more vegetables’ in sight. For me they will be much like a trip to the dentist: painful, but necessary, as on each list I will have listed one thing that I have been putting off for weeks and/or months.
Will I share them? Who really wants to know when I scrubbed out the oven or mopped out behind the T.V cabinet?
This is all a bit like a big dare for me, to see if I can really get on top of all the paperwork and grease traps I’ve been hiding behind craft for, for months!
I’ll link this up to http://meetmeatmikes.com/2013/01/52-lists/ where many, many folks are partaking in list making.
Last night I illustrated all 7 To Do lists, and here they are, my wall of procrastination.
P.s. In Spanish ‘Todo’ (To + Do) means ‘everything.’ Ironic?
*Scientific fact sourced from studies in 2000 by US researchers Iyengar and Lepper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology