If you are a control freak, you probably make lists every day – either to help yourself keep up with your work schedule, get the groceries you need for dinner, or simply to make sure you don’t forget to do anything important – including picking up your kids from school.
What you may not know about making lists is that there are many benefits to other it. Apart from the obvious – keeping you on schedule, there are also other advantages to writing stuff down, that aren’t so easy to see. In fact, making lists can help you in a number of ways:
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves focus
- Reduces anxiety
- Organises your thoughts
- Boosts your brain power
Carrie Barron from Psychology Today says that making lists can help you get out of the confusion of your thoughts as it gives you a chance to prioritise and identify what’s important. As such, lists can help you create a plan of what you need to do giving you the sense of commitment even when you are giving yourself deadlines. As constant reminders of what you need to do, lists help you to fight procrastination and avoidance. In simple words, they encourage you to take action and make a change in many aspects of your life.
See Also: How to Create a Functional To-Do List
As far as it concerns your professional development, there are some lists that you should start working on to give your career a boost:
1. Your Skills Wish-list
Your skills wish-list includes all of those abilities you want to improve to become better at what you do. These are the skills you want to develop for the future or when you feel there is a gap in your career that is preventing you from moving forward. So, for example, if you think that you are not as good with Excel as your co-workers, you might want to take up a training course to help you familiarise yourself with it. Or you might find that perfecting your language skills will help you be better at your job.
2. Your List of Ideas
This list would be much more of a diary – but it is important for anyone to keep. Writing your ideas down in the form of a list can help you keep track of your craziest thoughts and the most revolutionary ideas that have ever crossed your mind. No matter how random they can be, these creative ideas belong in a list. In fact, the weirder they are, the better. How do you think the world’s most successful entrepreneurs became rich in the first place? Everything starts with an idea. You just have to discover it first.
3. Your Hobbies List
This is the list of hobbies you wanted to try out forever. Some of which are extremely useful for your career. For example, reading books, writing, playing music will open up new possibilities for you in your career and you will learn some stuff along the way. So perhaps you should make it your goal to read a new book every month – or if that’s too easy for you, do it for every week just like Mark Zuckerberg promised to do in 2015. It could also be something like taking up any interest you wanted to pursue but never got the chance to do so. Need some help? Here is a massive list of 308 hobbies that you might want to try out.
4. Your List of Self-Improvements
In this list, you can include all of those things that you believe can help you develop as a person. Since personal development is crucial to becoming successful in your career, you can help yourself by working on those aspects of yourself that you think need to be changed. If you find that there is something you want to improve about yourself that could potentially help you become better at work, then it needs to go into this list. For example, you could work on developing your time management or stress management skills to help you become better in your career.
5. Your List of Goals
What are your career aspirations? Where do you want to go in life? Even if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do career wise or what your next step is going to be, it is still important that you write your thoughts down. When you are ready to move forward – like when you are making a career change, it will give you a rough idea of where you want to go and you can work out everything from there.
These are the five lists that you need to keep up-to-date if you want to keep on top of your career. What’s important about these lists is that they should constantly change, so that you ensure you’re progressing in your career while trying out what you have written down.
So what kind of lists do you make? How do they help you in your career? Let me know in the comments section below.