Lest we forget!

List ‘em The idea is to make a list when you think you’ve reached a dead end. It is believed to help clear some ‘brain space’.

I have great news for you folks out there, who are obsessive about making lists.  Recent research has borne out that list-makers are happier, healthier, and more productive than their “photographic memory” counterparts who feel quite blasé about remembering all 17 items they need to buy or do.
The research team asserts that not only the mind but the body too is benefiting from making lists.  List makers actually were found to be more conscientious about their workouts and even increased their workout frequency once they started putting Yoga or Walk or Gym on their to-do list.

How can news of the importance of lists be complete without its own list?  So here’s a list of the research group’s findings as to the reason for the benefits of lists.
1. This one is so obvious that I don’t even have to mention it here.  Nevertheless, I will, and I’m sure you can appreciate its importance.  This is the need to get control.  Making a list and crossing each item after you have completed it (irrespective of whether it may be purchasing something, or doing something) is extremely satisfying, rewarding, and more importantly, empowering.  This is a signal to the mind that you are making progress.

2. Increasing Your RAM:  The researchers call this, ‘Increasing your Brainpower’, but I like the computer analogy better.  Psychologists claim that you can only remember about 8 to 9 different things at a time.  So, you are using up valuable ‘memory space’, with clutter like details about errands to run. It’s like downloading games you’ll never play, and movies you’ll never watch, onto your hard drive.  Once you make a list, however, you can free up the brain for other more important activities.  This is analogous to transferring those games and movies on a DVD or flash memory and deleting them from your hard drive.
3. Listing has more to it than freeing up valuable ‘brain space’, though.  If you are facing a tough decision and are feeling like you have hit a brick wall, a good idea might be to make a ‘brainstorming list’.  This is where you pretend you are in a room with several others, each of whom is shouting out solutions to your problem.  This  is what you do with your own thoughts, ideas, and emotions.  Put them on paper unthinkingly.  After a while you can look at the list anew, rationalise, and you may find to your surprise that the decision-making has been simplified.

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