• Erin Buck

'To do' lists can save your sanity

Updated: Aug 16

Do you write your list on a sticky note, back of an envelope, or is it on perfumed paper?

The truth is it doesn’t matter where you write it; the simple act of writing one can give you some brilliant health benefits.

During my previous life working in education, my mind would often become overwhelmed with the different tasks I needed to do before I even got into the classroom. This would often make me feel unproductive, stressed, and miserable.

Lists became my friends and a great calming influence; I have even been known to write a list for my lists!

When I could no longer process the information in my head, it was time to organise it by writing it down. This way, I could clear my head, see what things were actually important, and even discover some things weren't as important as I thought they were.

It has even been discussed by professionals how our mental health can benefit from writing lists. It can:

Boost brainpower

Writing things down makes oxygenated blood move to the areas of your brain that are responsible for memory.

Focus thoughts

Having lots of ideas or tasks running around in your brain can make you confused and unproductive. Writing it down can show you which tasks are the most important and a place from where you can begin.

Give back a sense of control

When you are disorganised, it can make you feel like you have no control over things going on around you, but by writing a list, you are taking back control. You are deciding what needs to be done and when.

Prevent avoidance

It's hard to avoid if you can see a clear plan in front of you. Having a list means you are more likely to attempt to clear yourself of those tasks eventually.

Increase self-esteem by accomplishing

When your world is in chaos, it can make you feel unproductive, which then can make you feel like you can't achieve things and possibly make your self-esteem low. As I have

said previously, writing a list can put things in order, can give you a plan, can make you more likely to act, and therefore make you feel productive. Feeling productive can give you positive emotions, making you feel good about yourself.

I do know some people who are not in the right frame of mind to "take on writing a long list", but that's ok. Don't make the act of writing the list into another large job that intimidates you. Your list doesn't have to be written in full today; pin a piece of paper somewhere and write an item/task when it pops into your head. Any step you make on that path of organisation and productivity is a positive step forward.

Bizzybee, otherwise known as Erin, is a Virtual & Social media assistant based in Cheshire. She works with small/micro businesses and entrepreneurs. Being able to work remotely allows her to work all over the United Kingdom.

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