Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt stressed, but you don’t know why? Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling that way–like I had so much to do, but I didn’t even know what I had to do and how to start doing it. This happens to me every once in a while, and I use my secret weapon to combat these situations. My secret weapon? To-do lists. Yes, folks, that’s right. The big, ol’ mighty to-do list. DUNDUNDUN. I don’t think I can stress the power of to-do lists enough. Granted, this won’t work for everyone, but I think it will work for many.
Why do to-do lists work for everyone? This quote from an article I will share with you explains it perfectly:
Your mind loves it when a plan comes together –
the mere act of planning how to do something frees us from the burden of unfinished tasks.
Makes sense, right? Think about it. You have a big task in front of you. You break it down into steps. All of a sudden, it seems more manageable. Okay, I’ll tackle this step first, then this, then this, then..oh wow–that wasn’t so bad! And before you know it, your big task is behind you. Another interesting concept from this article?
Roy Baumeister and EJ Masicampo at Florida State University were interested in an old phenomenon called the Zeigarnik Effect, which is what psychologists call our mind’s tendency to get fixated on unfinished tasks and forget those we’ve completed.
Sounds an awful lot like another natural human tendency–focusing on the bad instead of all the good. OR, focusing on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. We do not give ourselves enough credit for the things we have done, the good things in our life, or the things we do have. That needs to change.
You can see the full article on BBC here.
Below, you can take a look at one of my to-do lists. My boyfriend got me this as a joke for Christmas, but let me tell you, checking that box off is super satisfying.