I love making lists. Even if I know I won’t get it all done in one day, I like at least to put it all out there. It not only serves as a reminder, but as soon as an item gets on my list, it has entered my thinking in-basket. This in-basket means that even if you can’t see that I’m working on an assignment, my mind has begun processing. This processing may take the form of thinking about the steps of the task, or accessing my background knowledge, or I could even play with jumping to conclusions in an essay.
The brilliant part is that I may not even look at the list again (though not usually the case), but I am so much more likely to get those items done if I have written them on a to-do list. The process of writing itself helps me break down tasks into doable parts. I also invariably put those little things that need doing but are super easy to cross off the list, like phone my grandma and mail two letters. These “easy button” tasks help me feel like I am getting things done and on top of the world. I like that.