Procrastination is the enemy of productivity and progress. That much we know. You probably go to great lengths to procrastinate. I know I used to. It’s so easy to find other things that need to be done instead of the tasks on your to-do list. That little list can become a real stress inducer and cause a great deal of anxiety. However, when used correctly, it can actually motivate you to do more. Keep reading to discover the ways in which a simple to-do list can help you beat procrastination.
Productivity and the To-Do List
While your to-do list can be intimidating, it can also be a great tool for helping you get things done. This list can serve as a roadmap for prioritizing what needs to be done. Instead of just flailing about, hoping to accomplish your big tasks, you can actually see what needs to be done and then make a plan of action. Try to think of your list as a tool, rather than as an obligation. When you’re able to view it in positive terms, it will seem less daunting.
Your List as Motivation
Once you’ve gained this new perspective on the to-do list, you’re able to take that a step further and find motivation through using this tool. Your dreaded to-do list can provide you with some powerful evidence if you take the time to complete it. Past accomplishments are a tremendous motivator and confidence booster. When you start marking items off your checklist, you have tangible, visual evidence of your success. You can see that you have the competence and ability to get things done. Further evaluation can remind you of the specific skills it took for you to complete each list. Plus, marking those items off one by one is just fun.
Create a Strategic To-Do List
There are a lot of strategies that work when it comes to tackling a big to-do list. I’ll share a few of my favourites here to get you started. First, I recommend adding a time duration to each item. This gives you the motivation to meet your deadline, rather than leaving the task open-ended and hoping you’ll get to it. Another strong motivator for getting things done is to offer yourself a reward. Knowing that something enjoyable is coming your way once you get through the tough stuff helps to maintain momentum. Some experts recommend prioritizing your list so that the most important things get done first. Others say you should start with the easiest task in order to build momentum and gain confidence. Both strategies have merit and can work, depending on your personality and lifestyle. However, my favourite approach is simply to take one small step. Baby steps are much less intimidating than larger tasks, yet they add up to big results.
Hopefully, you now feel a bit more optimistic about your to-do list. Use this tool to your advantage when it comes to beating perfectionism and procrastination.