Book Review: “Listful Thinking”
“Listful Thinking” by Paula Rizzo
c.2015, Viva Editions
$15.95 / $21.50 Canada
It’s no wonder that sometimes you’re cross.
Your schedule is overloaded, and so is your memory: phone numbers, grocery needs, calls to return, client wants, prospects to call on, arguments to make. Blink, and there’s a new restaurant to try. Blink, and it’s time for that meeting. How can you possibly be expected to remember everything?
Write this down: “Listful Thinking” by Paula Rizzo.
Every day, sometimes before you even get out of bed, your mind races, thinking about the tasks you need to finish. When you forget something or you have to squeeze more into your day that can be stressful.
Author Paula Rizzo says that learning the art of listmaking can help. By creating a list system that works for you, tasks can be prioritized and ideas remembered, you’ll more easily focus on immediacies, and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you check off what you’ve finished.
To get started, know what kind of list you need. What you’ll add to a packing list, say, will be different than what you’ll want to remember for work. Pros-and-Cons lists are perfect for decision-making, while lists of restaurants you want to visit someday can be more informal. Remember that lists and checklists are very different things.
Next, decide where you’ll put your list, so it best serves its purpose. For a “fun list,” a pocket-sized journal may be perfect. Rizzo says she keeps a spiral-bound notebook for ideas at work. You can go digital or plaster the walls with sticky-notes.
Whatever works for you – and “You know yourself better than anyone can” – the first step is to “Just write it down.” Get the task out of your head and onto paper, then organize and prioritize. Be realistic, and rewrite the list if you feel overwhelmed or hate messiness. As issues occur, you can add them to your list; conversely, you’ll feel good when you eliminate tasks and see your progress. Finally, before you leave work for the day, write a new list for tomorrow, so you won’t stress about forgetting things. Refresh it first thing in the morning. Your day will thank you.
As someone whose life is run by scraps of paper, I was eager to see what was inside “Listful Thinking.” I was pleased…and I was puzzled.
Author Paula Rizzo has “glazomania” (a passion for listmaking) and it shows in this enthusiastic book filled with ideas and suggestions. What you’ll find here is easy-to-understand, approachable, and methodical.
On the other hand, there are some odd points made here – things that probably won’t fly at work: wasted time on repeated list re-writes, making lists of frivolous things to do on break, and not answering phone calls without prior appointment are just a few of the head-scratchers I found. I could make a list…
Still, the hopelessly overwhelmed will surely find help inside “Listful Thinking,” and it could get new employees up to speed quicker. If you’re on top of your game or already know how to make lists, though, just cross this one off.