Are you already thinking of tomorrow today? Is your mind in a fog, your memory playing tricks on you, and you just can't seem to keep up with your endless mentally stored lists of “to do’s”? We all get overwhelmed and caught up trying to juggle and prioritize work with everyday related tasks and activities. Interestingly enough, making the traditional “to do list” has been scientifically proven to have more benefits for productivity and a sense of achievement than you may initially think.
Your brain loves lists!
Looking at the psychology behind “list making” is an interesting prospect in terms of productivity, behaviors and patterns when attempting to organize busy schedules and accomplish tasks. So, what’s the deal with list making anyway? We know people love writing down and crossing off listed tasks, but why? Is It that it provides us with a sense of satisfaction with the act of physically crossing things out? Or the feeling relief knowing you have completed a task and are achieving your set goals in a timely manner?
Truth be told, we can create a sense of order and stability to our everyday lives by learning to write and follow a properly prepared to do or check list. “Let me put that on my list” or “ I can cross that off my list” are the most common phrases heard not only related to work but also in everyday tasks and activities. Whether its making a grocery list, a business meeting list, or a simple list of daily activities, having it written down has been proven to create a healthy mindset and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
While lists are designed to make your life easier, making them allows easier retaining of information and ability to break down large tasks into smaller ones for higher chance of achieving them. You can also learn a lot from list making that doesn't have to do with tasks on the list at all. Headspace provides an understanding of the effects that list making has on patterns and behaviors, including how to properly prepare a properly prioritized, efficient, and achievable to do list to avoid the backfire of it seeming overwhelming and creating more stress and anxiety.
Once you have gotten the hang of making your perfectly crafted to do list, you’ll have the pleasure of enjoying some of the most common benefits that writing a list can achieve:
Your chaotic state will be overruled by a calmness
Your focus will be clear
Yes, you will actually get things done! Productivity is now your best friend
Tasks will be accomplished with confidence and drive
That brain fog will vanish and thoughts will be organised
And most importantly, you’ll say goodbye to stress and anxiety
Need a little kick start and motivation to your new organized life?
It all sounds simple and easy, however applying the practice of making frequent and proper lists may not happen immediately. Productivity can be made motivating and inspirational if you have the right tools to begin your list making efforts. Try purchasing a new notebook or a favorite writing pen and your motivation will spike, you’ll get the urge to dive into making you’re new checklist! Have it with you at all times to ensure easy access if your mind ever wonders and becomes confused again. With the right tools and mindset, productivity can be and accomplishing daunting tasks can be made motivating, inspirational and an easy mindful activity to keep you calm and collected even in times of chaos!
So next time you feel you’ve come to a halt and are not sure where to start, spend a few minutes the night before your crazy day putting together an achievable list, waking up the next morning with a clear positive mindset to start your day.