I love to work from a list. Whether it’s a honey-do list attached to the refrigerator or the grocery list app on my phone, I feel a sense of accomplishment when an item is checked off.
Another list that I can’t resist (thanks to David Letterman) is a ‘Top Ten List.” I doubt there is a more efficient way to determine the best beaches in the world or the best ways to clean mildew in your shower.
Lately, I’ve begun to doubt the value of a list when something important is at stake, like trying to determine the best tools and strategies for my small business. Nary a day goes by that I don’t receive an email touting a must-read list such as “the top ten apps your small business needs to succeed” or “the six mistakes every entrepreneur makes.” I start feeling anxious before I even read the email imagining that I’ve done something wrong and my business is probably suffering at this very moment!
A search of the Internet turns up even more lists. I recently googled “expense tracking apps” and the top three results were– you guessed it– LISTS!
- 7 Top money management apps
- 10 Smartphone apps that can help track your expense
- 6 Apps for tracking business expenses
Whew! Lists are designed to reduce a lot of information into something manageable, but I find that too many lists are just another form of information overload.
My Number One Tip for dealing with list overload? Consider the source. Ignore lists from unknown sources. If the list title is simply too enticing to ignore, do your homework and make sure the author is trustworthy and clearly states whether he or she is receiving any type of compensation for the list’s recommendations.
Yes, lists are definitely great for organizing or entertaining, but when it comes to your livelihood, beware of shortcuts!
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