This is your brain:
This is your brain on lists:
Some of you don’t need to be told that lists are effective. If that’s you- do you now why? Others of you, like me, only have partial buy-in. While yet others could care less about lists.
We might all get more done and enjoy it more if we know what lists do in our brains.
Lists Decrease That Weighty, Guilty Feeling
By taking all those weighty tasks and putting them down on a list and then on the calendar (for items that you can’t accomplish today), you take control of them. They no longer weigh on you. You know you are going to get them done.
Purge your brain of all those weighty tasks by making a list of them. Then, pull out a monthly calendar, and put them down one-by-one on days you can accomplish them (break them into smaller chunks if you need to). If they are all on your calendar (and you commit to follow-through as you would with other things on your calendar like work, a doctor’s appointment, and a birthday party), you know you are going to get to them, they stop weighing on you, and your brain begins to rewire to act instead of avoid.
This helps you stop procrastinating and be more efficient with your mental and emotional energy as well as your time. Read more on Stopping Procrastination here.
Lists Release Dopamine In Your Brain
Each time you accomplish a task, your nucleus accumbens in your brain releases dopamine. The dopamine makes you experience pleasure. So, if you put everything you need to do on a list, breaking up larger items into smaller, 20 minute tasks, then every time you check one off, you get a boost of dopamine. This boost can keep you motivated for the next task.
I like to make a daily list, so I know what to make sure I get done in the day. If I tackle the biggest, weightiest item first, then I can have more energy to accomplish the smaller items. Why is this?
Well, I tend to put the bigger things off…I accomplish the smaller ones first and by the time I get around to the bigger ones, I don’t have time or energy for them. BUT: The larger the task accomplished, the more dopamine is released. So, if I do the larger item first, not only do I deal decisively with my biggest stressor and reduce my anxiety (which increases performance), but I get a pretty large dopamine boost to help me chew through those smaller tasks as if they were cobbler instead of a crispy, crunchy apple.
All in all, lists keep you motivated, make your time and energy use more efficient, and increase your productivity.
Your Best Life
Sip Life Slowly is designed to help you get more out of life. To help you be more present in it and to enjoy it more. One way to enjoy your life more is simply to get those things done that are weighing on you and causing you stress and guilt. Apply these strategies and you will be well on your way to accomplishing those tasks that matter most to you. If you liked this, you may also like:
Copyright © 2019 Angela Edmonds. All rights reserved.