The Science Behind Making Lists

Lists have been a linchpin of the business world for generations now. Since proper organization and infrastructure are keys to efficiency, the art of the list is crucial to the success of any company. Here are five reasons why making lists are an important part of any sound business.

Lists Create Order

In collating a list of items, a company automatically narrows focus from a vast number of potential tasks to a specific set of goals. In the process, a disorganized, virtually infinite set of options are reduced to a finite number of tasks. Presuming these goals are achievable, the business has created target goals to sustain overall growth simply by enumerating plans. In this manner, lists make running businesses easy.

Identify Prioritization

Prioritization provides clarity while reducing the amount of time wasted. Consider that Barack Obama, the President of the United States, follows a set routine each day in order to limit the number of choices he has to make on a daily basis. Obama recognizes that so many decisions are trivial time burglars. As he states, “You need to focus your decision-making energy.”

By structuring the important tasks on a list, you ensure that the most important tasks are completed. Anything that you have not prioritized on a list is automatically less important and can be delayed indefinitely.

Provoke Conversation

In any business, increased conversation among employees makes them feel valued and empowered. By creating a list, a business naturally causes its employees to debate key aspects of stated goals. Potential list issues such as overall feasibility, time and budget constraints, and potential courses of action all must be considered. Simply by having these discussions, your employees feel more engaged.

Reveal the Future

Most people view lists as short-term goals, but that’s a narrow perspective. After all, what is a business plan? It is a highly detailed list of plans for a company’s future. As Forbes states, a “business plan is essentially your answers to a comprehensive list of questions.”

A properly crafted business plan must evaluate the immediate prospects of a company, but it is equally important that the long-term direction of the company be plotted out. In answering the questions about future sustainability, a business plan becomes the most important list a company will ever make.

Brevity Is the Soul of Wit

This Shakespeare quote from Hamlet is applicable for a simple reason. Most items on a list are brief. Take a look at the examples above to see the point. The paragraphs are short while the headings are three words of less save for this section.

Pay attention to this notion the next few times you read lists. Rarely is an individual item verbose. The whole point is to encapsulate something large in a brief statement. Doing this reduces the overhead that can bog down any employee at a company, which adds up to a tremendous amount of time and thereby money saved when you account for every worker employed.

The key aspect of the organizational process for a company is making one or more lists. In doing so, a company identifies what it is as well as what it shall become.