This weekend, I took some time to shut off the demands of the world and focus on the good stuff. I spent time with my husband and my little girl. I hosted a dinner party with good friends. And Sunday, honestly, I took a long-overdue nap.
Sometimes, a break is in order. But you may find, like I did today, that after a break you’re up to your ears in those nasty little to-dos and must-be-dones that you managed to block out for a little while.
So, here’s one way to kick-start your motivation on days where it’s a little harder to find.
Make a to-do list, and check off those boxes
When you absolutely must dig yourself out of a hole, do the following.
- Make a list of the mission critical, the world will end if you don’t get it done to-dos.
- Do them.
- Mark big Xs next to them as you blaze through your to-dos.
Sounds simple, right?
The tricky part of this method is #1, the part where you make a list of the mission-critical items. This typically goes one of two ways. Either you think, “Oh, I know what I have to do today, I don’t need a list.” Then you spend the whole day with this nebulous, nagging feeling like there’s so much more to do without ever seeing yourself making the progress and reaching the end of the list. Or, you make a list, but things other than the mission critical sneak in. Things like “Make a vet appointment,” and “Reorganize desktop.” Then, the list is too long for you to reasonably complete, and you still spend the day with this nebulous, nagging feeling that you have too much to do and you’ll never get there.
So be ruthless with your listmaking, and generous with your checkmarks, and watch the progress you can call “accomplishment.”