Research suggests that students can learn better and more efficiently when they use lists. Why are lists so appealing? What makes the to-do list such an efficient tool? Keep reading for a ✨list✨ of 8 reasons why everyone should love lists.
- In a chaotic world of information overload, lists bring order. Most of us live overstimulated lives, with visual and text-based information entering our brain nonstop during our waking hours. Lists offer a small break, bringing a bit of structure into what would otherwise be overwhelming.
- Lists make information digestible. While paragraphs of text can seem daunting in terms of concentration required, lists appeal to our limited attention spans.
- It’s a spatial thing. Think about it in terms of groceries. It’s way easier to remember what we need to buy when we write everything down in bullet points, or numbers. Subconsciously, we’ll remember where on the list each item is, so even if we forget our list at home, we can think back to the approximate location of the word in the list.
- Humans love categorising things. By chunking information into distinct sections, lists make it easier for us to understand (and remember) the information at hand.
- Memorisation. Checklists help us remember what we’ve already done and what’s left to do.
- There’s an end. Most lists are finite, meaning they’re not only less overwhelming, but also easier to navigate as we work our ways from one point to the next, knowing we’re only X points away from completion.
- Lists clear mental space. By writing down our tasks, we’re transferring what needs to be done from our mind to paper - giving our brain more space to focus on our actual work.
- Lists can prevent procrastination. When it comes to our to-dos, writing a list helps us wrap our minds around projects that seem insurmountable, and helps us break down and tackle our work bit by bit.
- Lists are motivating. Studies suggest that we’re more likely to remember unfinished tasks than completed ones (essentially: we’re constantly focusing on what needs to be done). So, by making lists, we stay motivated to complete the tasks top of mind, and feel a sense of accomplishment when we check them off.