blue yellow and red coated wires

Why make lists? There are six really good reasons.

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There are six good reasons to make lists. I believe list-making even grows us spiritually. And, God is the ultimate list-maker.

Reasons to make lists:

Lists bring calm to chaos.

blue yellow and red coated wires/making lists

On jam-packed days, it brings order. Checking things off our list makes us feel better. Chaos is the enemy of good mental health. I know many people that were they to make lists; their chaos would get better, and they would feel better. There is no mental health professional that doesn’t think the same thing.

Lists us remember.

None of our memories are that good. Mine is very good, and I still have to write things downs. Our minds get so inundated with some particulars. We need a way to retrieve the small but essential details that get lost in the jumble.

Lists help us prioritize

They help us see more clearly. It’s easy to make urgent things that aren’t that important. A lot of things feel urgent. Generally, those are the things that aren’t that important. For example, we might feel an urgency to get on with our day. God says, “Sit with me a spell, first.”

lists help us organize

Sometimes we feel anxious because there is so much to do. Honestly, writing my first novel is triggering some anxiety. Not the writing part; I love that, but all the rest. Now I have to learn about character development, plot lines, the introduction, and the last fifty pages.

I think having already written a book, this would have been easier. But it’s no different. Only the details are. But I learned with the first book that I have to be organized, which for me is hard. Without a way to track everything, I would be lost. I use a BUJO for this, and after two years, I still don’t have a suitable format. The best part of my BUJO is my DUMP page, where I write down everything I have a question about, things about which I’m thinking or wondering. Because I have a running list, I feel I am organized, although I probably am not.

We feel in control.

Having a list keeps our feet slow and steady. Anxiety is caused by fear. And, it’s strange, I know, but I have found having a running list makes me feel I have some control. Fear makes us think we don’t. Plus, when we look back over our day, and even if we only checked off one item, we can feel less anxious about at least we have one item.

MakingLists help with depression

Lack of motivation is a massive problem with depression. It’s hard to get out of bed, much less accomplish anything. If we make a list, it gives us a reason to get up and jumpstart our day. I read a study that suggests making a to-do list the night before rather than posting to a gratitude journal is actually more conducive to good sleep. That makes sense.

A sense of purpose

For many depressives, the thought of getting up the following day and facing the day is overwhelming. That’s why many people don’t get out of bed. But if you have a list of only two or three things, once again, you feel a sense of purpose and a sense of control.

Yes, God wants us to give him control of our lives but that doesn’t mean we are to excercise none. On the contrary, God tells us we are to discipline ourselves. That means being in control of what is in our domain, while at the same time, giving God control of our lives. It’s possible to do both. Besides:

God approves of listmaking

God is certainly the author of list-making. Think about all the lists God authored.

Immediately, we think of the Ten Commandments. But God gives many lists in His word. How-to-build-an-ark- list. How-to- build- a-temple-list. Genealogies-lists. Our spiritual gifts-a list. No, they are not numbered as in 1,2,3, etc. But they are lists nonetheless.

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list making helps us use our God-given gifts

If you don’t believe the importance of making lists, then (1.) you are the most organized person there is, or (2) you think you are. I don’t know a single successful (not necessarily monetarily), contented person that doesn’t use lists. But I sure see a lot more whose lives would be much happier and less chaotic if they did.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot done without one. You can. I can. My contention, though, is that are you doing what God wants you to do, what he considers essential? Does your list represent the gifts and abilities he’s given you?

There was a time mine didn’t reflect any of that. Now that I am writing, they do. They have to. Play around making some lists and see what they reveal about you. Because I guarantee you, they will.

One final thing.

As I was finishing up this post, I looked at my current list. I use the Bullet Journal, and I have a section called “The Dump Page”. I write down a lot of questions I’m asking myself to get better organized.


One of those entries is about my creative pursuits; when should I schedule them? Or even should I? Instead, should I concentrate on blogging and writing and put everything else on hold? Then I thought about what I’d done creatively just this past week. It occurred to me, I somehow just always work it in, at least a couple of times a week.

This revealed to me that being creative and working on something is as natural as breathing to me. I don’t have to schedule it or make it a big deal because I always managed to do it. Therefore, in this case, making a list showed me some things I don’t have to worry about because I automatically make time for them.

Shows what we don’t need to list

So lists can show us what we don’t have to list. But you start with the list first. Does that make any sense? I hope it does.

Try making it for a while and see if it doesn’t improve your moods as well. I think it will.

God bless, have a wonderful day, and stay safe.