We’ve all heard the story about Albert Einstein (and if you haven’t, here it is). Instead of memorizing his phone number, Einstein kept it written down on a piece of paper in his pocket. His theory? He didn’t need to waste his brain power memorizing something that he could instantly look up.
These days, we all have a lot to think about: setting our DVR’s on time (just kidding, no one on this list ever watches TV, right? Right), scheduling personal and professional appointments, taking care of home repairs, attending social events and (gasp) getting work done. With all these dates, times, facts, figures and obligations roaming around our brains, things tend to get a big cluttered up there. As a friend recently said to me, “sometimes it feels like there’s a washing machine going on in my brain, churning around all the things I know I have to do like laundry.”
Which is why I believe in lists. The “To Do” list specifically. It’s impossible to think creatively when you’ve buried your mind in logistical details. Imagine trying to come up with solutions for your business’ cash flow problem, a new character for your novel, or design concepts for your personal website when in the back of your mind there’s an alarm going off that keeps saying, “don’t forget to do your laundry!” like a parrot squawking over and over.
Make a “To Do” list and save your creative brain for more important things. Besides, there’s no greater feeling than crossing entries off your list off once they are done.*
*Confession: I’ve been known from time to time to even make lists after I’ve accomplished things, just to be able to cross these tasks off. Am I the only one?