If you bring up the subject of checklists, you’ll probably get one of two responses. People either absolutely love them or absolutely hate them! Checklists provide a sense of accomplishment for some and a sense of restriction for others.
Both groups, though, often miss that checklists are not intended to provide a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction, nor are they intended to feel like a noose around the neck of spontaneity and flexibility. Those are just byproducts. The real purpose of a checklist is to serve as a guide. A helper. As such, they are important to everyone, no matter what your planner personality may be!
Reasons to Create a Checklist
Here are three reasons why all personalities can benefit from checklists.
Download Your Brain
We carry a lot in our brains. We keep up with our homes, our family life, our kids’ activities, homeschool, and more. And sometimes our biggest struggle is trying to balance it all in our heads.
No matter how great your memory, something will fall through the cracks if you don’t write it down. A simple checklist can free up your mind by allowing you to download your brain onto a piece of paper or into a planner. Then you can be free to focus on all of the fun stuff that really can’t be put on paper!
When you write something down that is relevant to a later time, you free your mind to focus on right now. In the middle of homeschooling, you might remember a phone call you need to make or an appointment that needs to be scheduled. That can cause significant distraction, hindering you from focusing well on teaching that math concept or finishing up a read-aloud. Take ten seconds to write the thought down, then come back and focus fully on what’s right in front of you.
In a way, this is an extension of the brain download idea. But, there are also implications that reach beyond the idea of you keeping track of things. When you write something down, you acknowledge a desire to remember. This not only keeps it in front of you, but it also lets other members of your family know you are making an intentional effort to remember. Even if there is no other benefit, this one action can go a long way toward keeping relationships strong by letting your family know that you haven’t forgotten something important to them.
Do you love checklists or hate them? Are you a Focused or Spontaneous planner? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out more about your planner personality!