5 Easy Steps for Creating a List of 5 Easy Steps

June 27, 2024

Whether it’s tips for better brainstorming, steps for creating relationships, or habits of successful leaders, the laws of modern messaging tell us that the most effective way to communicate anything to anyone is a numbered list. It could be a list of 10, 7, 5 or even 3, but rarely is it a list of 1. The rule of thumb dictates that odd numbers are best, unless you go 11 or higher. Then there are no rules and chaos reigns supreme. 

The idea behind many of these lists is to be memorable enough that the advice sticks. To help the message memorability, try using catchy words and creating a flow to your list, so that there is continuity and each independent point supports a greater overall mission. Acronyms are a long-time favorite of any big business, and oddly acronyms help with message stickiness in lists as well. You might say acronyms are numbered lists dressed up in a bowtie t-shirt. But I don’t know why you would say that.

So, how the heck do you create a list that is memorable? Here is a list of 5 easy steps for creating your list of 5 easy steps.

  1. Specifics – Know what you want to communicate.  Be specific.  For example:  “I’m gonna create a list of 5 easy steps to show people how to create a list of 5 Easy Steps” is way better than “I’m gonna create something that will help people.” Details will help you form your list.
  2. People – Define your audience. Who are you talking to?  For example:  “I’m talking to you, because you are on our mailing list” is a lot better than “I’m talking to everyone and hope that someone might listen.” By defining your audience, you will understand how to talk with your intended audience.
  3. Objective – Why are you writing a Top 5 list? For example: “I’m creating a list of 5 Easy Steps because every businessperson will be better off by knowing how to create a list of 5 Easy Steps” is better than “ I’m creating a list because words are fun!” By knowing what you want to achieve, your list will act as your guiding light.
  4. Reduce – Oh come on, man! We all know people can’t remember anything these days. The shorter the better. 10 easy steps is too long in 2024. Heck, 5 Easy Steps is probably a challenge for people to memorize. 3 Easy Tips will be much better. In truth, the forbidden fruit is 1 Easy Step. When used correctly 1 Easy Step will save the world and when used incorrectly 1 Easy Step will be the downfall of civilization, unleashing a beast so unholy and terrifying that everyone who crosses its path will immediately perish. Crap. Now that I’m thinking about it, stay away from 1 Easy Step. Stick with 3 or 5 Easy Steps. And the shorter the better, too. For example, this paragraph is way too long, especially one focused on the simplification and reduction of information. (See upcoming blog series on irony.)
  5. Keystone – The wedge-shaped piece at the top of an arch that locks the other pieces in place. You need a good locking point. Try piecing everything together with an acronym, like SPORK! 

Specifics, People, Objective, Reduce, Keystone – Spork – the most powerful utensil in any kitchen.

And there you have it: 5 easy steps for creating your list of 5 easy steps. If you follow these 5 easy steps you will not only be able to write 5 easy steps to absolutely anything in the world, you will also be able to write 5 Easy Tips, 5 Easy Tricks, and 5 Best Practices. Moreover, you will learn to become a successful leader, a better teammate, a better parent, and an overall better human being.