Brain Drain: Mental TO DO Lists

A friend recently told me she is trying to prevent Alzheimer’s by trying to remember everything she has to do (without writing it down) as a form of mental excercise.

I’m all about mental exercise and keeping sharp, but I suggested that my friend do the crossword puzzle or a Sudoku instead of keeping her mental TO DO list.  Here’s why:

  • Mental TO DO lists clutter your brain.  The bigger the list, the more likely you are to “misplace” something in the midst of the clutter.
  • Once a task is written down, it can’t be “misplaced” (in case, of course, you misplace the TO DO list, but that’s a whole other blog post).
  • Clutter in your brain drains your energy.  That makes executing your TO DO list harder.
  • Written TO DO lists are easier to prioritize, especially if the list is more than three items.
  • Written TO DO lists help you use your time more efficiently.  (Ever need to run across town AGAIN because you forgot you also needed to pick up the dry cleaning?)

By the way, here are some tips on solving Sudoku puzzles!


Image courtesy of Rawich /

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