Regain Control of Your Life: Make a List!

How many times have you felt out of control because you had so many things to do and accomplish that you just mentally shut down? Or how often did you have to make a choice on something that was a major decision that you just couldn’t?

Help yourself out. Sort through all the issues in a simple and effective way: Make a list. I know this sounds simple, and you’re automatically mentally retreating, but just give me another paragraph and hear me out. The act of writing things out, listing them, if you will, helps not only to organize your thoughts but gets the ideas out of your brain and onto a visual surface so you can better understand what you’re dealing with. Once out of your brain, the thoughts aren’t bouncing around, mixed in with all the other things you’ve got going on, and lessens the thinking pressure. Ok, it may sound a little mumbo-jumbo, and a lot old fashioned, but I dare you to give it a try.

I understand that in this day and age, there are so many technological advances that the feeling of the need to write things out sort of goes to the wayside. Writing things out seems like a silly, unrequired thing. However, the feeling of getting the thoughts out of your head and having a semblance of organization immediately starts to quell your unease. Making a list of them will also give you a place to start, and allow you to grasp what is ahead of you.

I am, and probably always will be, a huge advocate for writing. Looking back it is always something I have done. Whenever I have an idea, I write it down—I can’t you how many scraps of paper with random thoughts are floating around my apartment. When I go through a break up, I write out my feelings in a journal—I write and write and write to get it all out of me and move on with my day. When I’m feeling the need to be creative or solve a problem or issue I write. Letting the words out of my body and putting them down in a physical format is a release for me. As and adult, I’ve found that the act of writing gets me out of my head, and the jumble of thoughts bouncing around like a ball of string unwinding and making a mess, and instead gets them out to a place where I can see them, organize them, and control them.

This last one is the main thought. Once your ideas, thoughts, needs, tasks are out of your head, you can control them. Once on paper, they’re only words that will lead you to being accomplished or achieve the goal you need to reach.

To this day, I make lists constantly. I cannot leave town, even overnight, without making a list of what to pack. Like I said before, I make all kinds of shopping lists. I’ve ended two relationships and made decisions with six jobs with a positive/negative “big decision” list. The three lists that I analyzed were actual ones from my life—I did one for a big thing like moving, a medium thing like managing my time and chores for a weekend, and a small but daunting task of cleaning up and organizing my frustrating kitchen. If you look at my phone note pad app, I have lists for books to read, websites to look up, topics to write for this book, songs to sing in auditions, recipes to try, job ideas/websites/connections, and yes, I even have a list of shoes I liked at the local branch of the big chain discount shoe store to spend money on if and when I have extra. My name is Clare Solly and I love, and believe whole-heartedly, in the self-returning power of lists.

For more on this topic and “how to” tips, stay tuned to this blog, and for our book, due out this winter.

–Clare

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7 thoughts on “Regain Control of Your Life: Make a List!

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