How my weirdest hobby can help you!

Ask my family.  Ask my friends.  They’ll give you the same answer.  No matter how much they may cringe, they will admit that it is true.  Although they probably try to keep it a secret, they will tell you, with a ‘she’s crazy’ sort of smile, that Jessica Letchford, aged 15, is a list-making fanatic.

checked list copy

Please, by all means, laugh; it’s true.  I love making lists.  It is my hobby.  It comes mysteriously naturally.

Now, since I am on a rant about lists, I will give you a short list of the things I make lists about.

  • Our water bottle supply (mental, not literally!)
  • Things to add to our shopping list (currently: one)
  • The phone calls I received on my 15th birthday (the event which I am too slack to mention)
  • the amount of our soy sauce supply (currently: two or three)
  • Cupboards to organize
  • My friends! (An old habit, I assure you!)

Since I am on a rant, I thought I would share with you some beneficial reasons to use the most efficient strategy of all time (aka a list), which applies to everybody today.

  1. Writing lists helps you stay focused.  You know what you have to do, and with a list, you can stay on track with what you have to do, and get more things done.
  2. Writing lists clears the brain.  The fewer things you have on your mind at one time, the better the quality of your current project will be.  With a do list you can name the jobs you have to do and come back to them when your job is done.
  3. Writing lists reduces stress.  As I mentioned earlier, list-making takes them off your mind, because you have recorded the things you have to do, and therefore you don’t have to constantly worry about forgetting to do it.  Although making lists of the amount of water bottles you own is an extreme, that number might just come in handy sometime!
  4. It organizes you and your thoughts.  Brainstorming before writing something is a form of list making and helps you go in the direction you want to go.  Do it mentally or write it out – it helps.
  5. The most common thing to do with a to do list, is, of course, tick it off.  Apparently, ticking releases an endorphin in your mind, which, just like chocolate, relaxes you and makes you feel great.  So get to it and tick, tick, tick!

So what are some tools you can use to stay focused, clear the brain, reduce your stress, and organize your thoughts and day?

  • Day-to-day diaries have proven to be excellent tools.  I have a day-to-half-a-page one, which provides lots of room for me to write the school subjects I plan to have (or have) covered that day, and I have plenty of room left over for any appointments, family plans, and extra projects I want to get done. (if you haven’t realized this, diaries are just list-space in book formats)
  • I have what I call a ‘do list’.  When I accomplish something on that list, I say I have ‘do-oned it’ (pronounced ‘dooned’ as in ‘doomed’) (By the way, I didn’t invent this.  Colin Buchanan did.  Thanks Colin!)  Every now and then, I type up a two-column page with everything I can think of, and things on my old list (which looks too tatty to be used) that I need to do.  After I print it off, I can add jobs I have forgotten, or new things that pop up over the next little while.  I keep it tucked in my diary, with easy access.  When I plan my day in the morning or the previous night, I sometimes add a few things from my do list to do that day to my diary.

Time management is so, so important.  Without it, life would be an absolute disaster zone; we would be burnt out, frustrated, stressed and unable to make Christ look like our Ultimate Treasure.  I love to say that God is a God of order, and we are made in His image!  Even though sin makes it harder to see and do it, with God… all things are possible.  So today, please, take five minutes, write out a do list, stick to it, honour God, and enjoy a stress-free life!

“Dominion and awe belong to God; he establishes order in the heights of heaven.

– Job 25:2

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8 thoughts on “How my weirdest hobby can help you!

  1. You’re funny, Jess… but I am sure your lists help around the house, especially with the grocery shopping. 😛

    As for your question on my blog, no, I have not made scones. I do plan on making some soon though. I love tea, and scones are traditional ‘afternoon tea’ food… sooooo… hope that answers it. Have you made them?

  2. I love making lists too! Although, I haven’t made one of our water bottle supply 😉 I always keep a tablet next to my bed to write down the stuff I have to do the next day, or what I need to bring to where ever we are going the next day–that way I can sleep and not try to remember a whole list of things 🙂

    ~Susannah

    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/sevensisters

  3. I also love making lists! Lists of how many things we canned this year, how much we used last year, what books I’ve read, what projects I’ve sewn… : D They are really just wonderful and really help me keep organized! Not to mention they help you see how much you have (or haven’t!) accomplished.
    And I very much agree with you that lists reduce stress—I do not like trying to remember something for too long in my head! It’s much safer on the list 🙂 I loved the fact that ticking your “done” things off releases endorphins! I didn’t know that : D

    Now I am going to have to go tell another friend of mine who loves lists about this post : D She will love it!

    Loved the post!

    Jessica

  4. Hahahahaha! That is so funny how you started off the article!
    Amen though – I so agree! Even if I dont write as many lists as I probably should I do find that if I sit down and write SOMETHING it always helps me devepole my thoughts. But I am proud to say that I did make a list this morning of things I need to do this week!
    Blessings,
    Meggie4u

    http://www.inkdrips.wordpress.com

  5. Hello Jessica!

    I am the oldest of the Seven Sisters 🙂 Although all of us like to giggle! We had a friends who like to tease us about it…”Those girls! They’re giggling again!” 😀

    Have a great day!

    Love,

    Jessica

  6. I am a fellow list maker! 🙂 Currently sitting next to me is my “to do” list for tomorrow! I have enjoyed reading your blog!

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