Creating lists help you examine your ideas, thoughts and problems visually, often resulting in patterns. This works better than thinking or talking because humans remember that which appeals to their vision three times as well as any other sense. So, creating lists will widen the areas of your memory circuit and allow your information to become clearer.
Here’s a great example: try making a list of “10 Problems My Customers Complain About.” This exercise will identify several key difficulties for which your business has solutions. Not to mention, this is great information to memorize for future conversation with those customers.
If you read any resource, book or website on creativity, all of them will tell you the same thing: lists stimulate and challenge your creativity. Sure, it’s easy to pin down one answer to a problem or question. But what about 5? 7? 10? Forcing yourself to adhere to a set number of required items will generate greater depth and breadth of your ideas. Especially when you start making lists of 25, 50 and 100, you’re bound to stretch you mind to its very limits!
So, maybe we need to be more willing to approach ourselves. After all, Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Here are a few of my favorite lists, all of which I’ve completed and update/cross off regularly. I encourage you to take some time in the next few weeks to write a few of them out:
- 101 Goals for 2005
- 25 Best Pieces of Business Advice I Ever Got
- 25 of My Favorite Success Stories to Tell
- 7 Characteristics of Your Ideal Client
- 12 of the Stupidest Things You’ve Ever Done
- 12 of the Smartest Things You’ve Ever Done
How have lists educated you about yourself, your business or your customers?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag