Madeline Peterson

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with your schedule for the week or even the day that you just want to sit and cry?  Your brain is telling you, ‘Please don’t make me try to remember all of this at once!’  Before I started making weekly and daily lists, I used to feel constantly submerged in stress and lack of organization.  Sometimes, I’d forget important tasks which led me to get behind in school and my daily life.

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I was recently talking to a friend about how stressed I was becoming, and she suggested writing lists to help keep my thoughts and ideas together.  I decided to add it to my 2018 New Year's resolution to always keep lists on hand and see if I could get my organization back on track.  To make it fun, I went out and bought a cute, pink weekly calendar that I could write out each important thing I had to do on.  Having a stylish and fun planner to work out of helped to kick-start my motivation, and I looked forward to writing in it.  So if you need something to just start your new organized lifestyle, I suggest taking this first step!

Now, not only does creating these weekly lists help me to not forget things I need to achieve, but it also gives me the opportunity to cross off things I’ve finished.  This allows my brain to recognize that a task is finished.  Plus, how satisfying is it to check a box or cross something off a list?  I feel a lot less stress knowing that my tasks are getting completed and crossed off as I go.

Along with my weekly calendar, I started to keep a list in the ‘Notes’ app on my iPhone as a second stress-reliever.  This helps when I’m on the go and need to add something to my calendar but don’t have it, I have a backup place to organize my thoughts until I can write them down.  A cool feature on ‘Notes’ is that you can put a checkmark next to things you finish on your list— just like crossing them off on the calendar- to really help you feel organized and on track.

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If you give your brain a little help remembering everything it will thank you, resulting in a less stressful week.

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Another great aspect of making lists is that once you start and get familiar with writing down your tasks, it almost becomes second nature.  You can trust yourself in knowing you’ve made a safe place to track your priorities and ideas.  Because writing lists is easy to do and time-efficient, you don’t feel as if it’s a task of its own.   Giving yourself those few extra minutes to put your thoughts and goals on paper lets you wrap your head around really big ideas, which can lead to less procrastination and more doing—and who doesn’t want that?  The more we can accomplish throughout the week without added stress, the better.  It’s a simple way to get the most out of each day, and work towards bigger goals a little bit at a time.  If you give your brain a little help remembering everything it will thank you, resulting in a less stressful week.  Bring more order to your daily commotion and try out list-making!


Madeline is a Senior at Michigan State University studying Creative Writing.  After graduating she hopes to work in social media marketing.

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