When I was a little kid, 7 or 8 years old, I read a book called ‘The Listmaker’ by Robin Klein. I don’t remember it too well, and from memory I found it a bit dull, but it’s basically about a young girl who compulsively writes lists to try to keep control of her life.
I remembered it recently because I realised that I myself write a hell of a lot of lists. Half of my blog posts have a list included in them. I have a list of Wedding To-Do’s, a list of Things to Do Before Travelling, a list of Things to Do While Overseas, and a list of To-Do’s Before Settlement on the Apartment. I keep lists to track my budget. I list my Current Work Tasks and keep a Fitness Goals list. I have a Five Year Plan list and an Ideas for Blog Posts list. Thanks to this post, I now appear to have a List of My Lists.
I can’t be the only one. There are whole websites, YouTube channels and books dedicated to making lists on just about every imaginable subject.
Is it a sickness, this incessant listing? Or a sign of a disorganised mind trying to keep some order? Perhaps it’s just my anxiety playing out. I don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t really matter.
In honour of my moment of self-realisation, I’m going to write a kind of List-Inception list. Here it is:
My List of Why Lists Are Great:
- Lists Give Importance to All Things Equally They don’t discriminate based on the size of your ideas. Just give it its own dot point, and it’s worthy of attention.
- Lists are Easy to Read They give order to ideas without the need for extra filler like connecting statements. They also create negative space on the page, which helps with pace. You only have to concentrate on a chunk at a time. Brilliant.
- Lists are Easy to Skim Read I bet some of you are only reading the italicised headings…
- Lists Help Us to Focus When there are ten trillion things on your mind, writing a list gives some clarity to what needs to be done and takes away the fear of forgetting something. Which leads me to Number 5.
- Lists Give a Sense of Accomplishment Whether you tick or cross off those Do-To lists, there is so much satisfaction in recording what you’ve achieved.
There are probably other reasons why people enjoy making and reading lists. I’d love to see your own list in the comments.
This is Julia, being grown up.