The Science Behind Making Lists

I don’t know if it’s the writer in me, or if it has to do with something else altogether…but I love making lists. My weekly To-Do List is always my favourite one to make on a regular basis. I get to write out everything I need to do for all of my clients, as well as any chores and other tasks I need to complete outside the workplace. But that’s not it- I also like to list all the clients I have work for, video ideas, podcast episode ideas and blog post suggestions that I want to create in some capacity. There’s something about having everything I need to do or want to do all written out in messy writing that gets me to do all that stuff sooner.

Believe it or not, there’s some science behind the effectiveness of making lists. There are many benefits to writing out what to buy, what to do and so on. Here are just three of them to show you why making lists is a great habit to get into.

Reduces your anxiety

Ever thought about every single thing you need to get done that day (or even that week), only to curl up in a ball on your bed with crippling anxiety? All you can think about everything that has to be completed, as well as any accompanying due dates and requirements that come with certain tasks. I know I’ve been guilty of being nothing more than a ball of stress when I overthink every I have to do in a single day.

By writing a list out, you know exactly what you have to do. It decreases your anxiety just from writing everything down because all that you have to get done is laid out for you to see. Your stress will also decrease, allowing a clearer mind to get stuff done efficiently.

Turns goals into work

When you look at a big goal, it can seem unachievable. Where do you start? What steps do you need to take to reach said goal? These questions and many more can easily overwhelm you, making any goal seem like an impossible mountain climb.

Writing a list of all the steps you need to take to achieve your goal helps break it down into a less terrifying achievement. Whether you’re writing a book, starting a business or improving your grades in school, breaking such a goal into manageable tasks will make it easier to complete. That’s where writing a list comes into play, as you can write out said tasks in a clear manner.

Helps you prioritize everything

Looking at all you have to get done can also make you feel a little cross-eyed. You might not know what should be done today versus what can be done by the end of the week. The last thing you want to happen is to accidentally miss a crucial due date thanks to you being so disorganized!

Writing it all out in the form of a list makes it easier to see what has to be done immediately, and what can wait for the time being. You can figure it out quickly, ensuring that all your tasks are planned out accordingly. You’ll be less likely to miss deadlines, as well as less likely to stress out over the idea of having to get everything done in one day.


Making lists is a fantastic way to boost productivity in multiple areas of your life. It helps reduce anxiety in what to expect, turns your goals into actual work, and helps to focus you better. Those are only a few such benefits to prove that list-making really does work. So if you haven’t gotten into this habit already, it’s time to give it an honest shot.




Published by Elizabeth Sarah Larkin

Freelance Writer & Social Media Manager

One thought on “The Science Behind Making Lists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: