I’ll admit upfront I am naturally not a list person. So until very recently I wasn’t convinced of the difference they would make to my projects.
Yes, I have logs and registers, etc., but the thought of creating a whole bunch of lists left me cold. Until I was challenged by a friend to see how much more efficient I would be if I had at least one.
I decided to give it a go and it was quite a revelation, and I’m now a converted list writer!
So, based on my newfound admiration for lists, here’s what I enjoy about them:
- I have different lists for different activities, rather than one long list
- I like to physically write the lists out, rather than have them electronically
- I like to use nice paper – it makes writing the list something to look forward to
- I like to score through the tasks as they’re complete – it gives me a weird sense of satisfaction to see everything marked off
- I don’t worry if I don’t get everything off the list – there’s always tomorrow
- I like to add to the lists throughout the day, as it’s a good way to stay focussed on the tasks at hand
- I have large and small things on the list, so I can have a sense of accomplishment by ticking off something small. There’s nothing more disheartening than a list with no score outs at the end of the day
- I don’t put the list in any particular order – it’s written as things come to me
Why do I think lists are as important as registers for project managers? It’s easy to get distracted with a 101 things during the day, especially when you’re in the middle of a project. I’ve found with lists, I’m pulled back to focus on the key tasks for the day. If something important crops up, I just add it to the list so it’s not forgotten.
If you’re already a list writer, this blog may not tell you much you didn’t already know, but I hope if you’re not one, you’ll also be encouraged to pick up your pen and give it a go.
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