I have noticed quite a few comments about making lists on my Creativity Vitamin series. Many of us use lists to keep organized or prevent forgetting things. Did you know they can also help keep your creativity levels from waning?

Have you ever been working on a project and found yourself thinking about half a dozen other things? You need to call the dentist, remember to buy milk and get the dog an appointment at the groomer. Those little thoughts distract you from your creative project…and then they start multiplying. Often you’ll soon find yourself wandering away to chase around all of the other things you need to do.

One way to ease the landslide of distracting thoughts is to write them down. Make a list. I tend to write those kinds of things down in my date book, but anything will do – from sticky notes to an iPhone app. I’m willing to bet nothing needs to be done right away. Once you’ve written down or scheduled the task, try to let it go. Erase it from your mind. It’s written down, so there is no worry of forgetting it. Free up that brain space for your creativity again.

Sometimes, those distracting thoughts aren’t tasks, but instead are forms of self-criticism. A squirrel could draw better than this. This story is as stinky as a pile of chicken droppings. Nobody in their right mind would want to buy this! We’ve all been there. The vortex of self-doubt. You can make a list to help with this, too. Write down everything that is bothering you and then…destroy it. Tear it up and flush it down the toilet. Burn it in the fire pit. Crumple it up and slam dunk it into the trash can. As you are writing down the bothersome thoughts concentrate on transferring their negative energy to the page. When the list is gone imagine that the fears and frustrations have magically evaporated. And then go back to your project.

Do you have any other creative uses for lists?

4 thoughts on “Creativity Vitamin: Lists

    1. I think the key to making lists work is to forget about the task once you write it down. If you can do that, lists are a great tool for keeping you on track.

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