13 Oct 2020

Motivate Yourself with To-Do Lists

In the age of digital everything, we all have a little bit of shiny ball syndrome. New emails are constantly pinging, texts come in at virtually all hours of the day and Zoom meetings are just so easy to schedule. But when you’re constantly changing your focus, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals and stay on track. So what can you do? It’s easy – pull out a classic pen and paper to-do list.

Organization: First of all, and this is obvious, but making to-do lists or bullet journaling can help you keep track of the things you need to do, whether they are today, next week or next month. You can either have a running diary list or use a calendar, but you have to physically write down what needs to be done – with notes – and preferably not in a digital way. While having digital notes is helpful and mobile, they are also easily deleted or moved, meaning they are more challenging to use for the next two steps. More importantly, having a to-do list frees up space in your conscious thought to do bigger, better things rather than think about sending that email this afternoon. Take it out of your mind, put it on your list and get it done as you go through your day.

Dopamine: When you are able to physically cross an item off your to-do list, your brain releases dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps you feel happy and accomplished, which in turn keeps you motivated so you can get even more done. While to-do lists can include big items, like grow a business by five percent, they are more effective if you still to the daily, weekly or monthly tasks at hand that live under those larger goals instead of focusing on the goal itself. Even on rough days, if you can put together a list of micro-tasks that you can get done on a given day and then check those items off one-by-one, we can promise you’ll feel better and, tomorrow, you’ll be able to work toward your goals.

Tracking: The Growth Coach is big on accountability – to yourself, to your coach, to your mentors and to your peers. Having a to-do list that doesn’t get deleted at the end of the day, like one that lives on a calendar, allows you to take the time to reflect on what you were able to accomplish – or not finish – over the course of the year. Having a calendar-style to-do list also allows you to easily see which day-to-day tasks are costing you the most time and which ones could be delegated to allow you to focus on business growth.

If you are having trouble managing your time or you realize that your time is not being spent effectively, your local Growth Coach can help: https://www.thegrowthcoach.com/find-a-coach.

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