Ten Ideas a Day

I’m always looking for ideas for blog posts. Every week or so when I’m killing a few minutes before heading out to some appointment or event, I’ll sit down and make a list of ten ideas for future blogs — ten things older adults might be interested in reading.

I also make lists of the ten best ways to reduce the amount of clothing I own (the 50-piece system appeared on my list and I’m working to implement it; I started here). Speaking of clothing, I’ve made a list of ten ways to reduce clutter in my five closets filled with clothes. If the 50-piece system doesn’t do it, the Marie Kondo plan works wonders. Donating and tossing made the list too.

I love making lists! It’s fun!

I believe within most lists of ten items is a nugget of perfection, a solution to a problem, or an answer to something creative.

Creating lists started when I worked, and I needed to identify the myriad parts of a huge year-long project where delegation was key. Everyday my lists of lists changed. I’d make lists of the main daily components and then lists within that list for specific task assignments.

I started making lists away from the office too! I began to see making lists as a problem solver for things I wanted to accomplish.

I seem to always have several problems or situations that require solutions, and taking the time to make my lists invariably contains the answers or solutions that I need.

The key to the best list making is to let it flow!

Just jot down anything that comes to mind … without judgement. I try to stick to ten items in the final list. Any fewer and you’re not getting a good representation of the possibilities. Any more and you’re starting to repeat myself. Sure, occasionally I have to push myself to get to the tenth item, but usually it’s worth it. And sometimes way more than ten things come pouring out; I let them flow and then usually pare the list down to ten.

What do I get out of making a list of ten ideas?

Something interesting is often revealed when I make these lists. Like, for instance, the ten best ways to cull all the books I’ve read but don’t want to keep. (One of my best ideas that made the list was to invite my friends over and have them take any of the books that interested them. With dozens gone, I was easily able to donate the remaining books to the reading library at our local jail.) Some lists that have helped me include: ten ways I’ll meet new people, ten things to do when it rains, ten random acts of kindness that don’t cost a cent (sincerely complimenting a stranger was at the top of that list), and ten random acts that require money like anonymously paying off a layaway account at Wal Mart.

I make these lists to calm me. They give me a break from my routine and even have saved me from boredom.

If you have a small note pad and pencil, you’ve got all you need to jot down ten ideas. The memo app on your cell phone works too! It’s easy when you’re out of the house, arriving a few minutes early for an appointment, or waiting in line, or eavesdropping on a conversation, to be inspired with ten ideas relative to what you’re experiencing at the moment. You can “list” while you’re on hold, or while you’re waiting for your drink to arrive, or waiting in the reception room.

I believe making a list of ten things every day can change your life.

My next ten things ideas? Who knows, perhaps the answer will be on my list of ten best answers to that question.