To-do lists are just a nagging reminder of all the things you haven’t done, so actually inspiring yourself to do them isn’t always easy. Michael Pantalon, writing for Psychology Today, suggests that you’re more likely to accomplish these tasks by including why you should do them as well.
Photo by JohnKwan (Shutterstock).
We know what we have to do, as well as, when and where we have to do it, but, for some reason, we don’t think about why we want to or need to do it. That’s probably because we are under the spell of the “have-to’s” and forget we always have a choice.
Creating a “why do” list, as he calls it, can help you remember why you actually want to do something and avoid thinking that you have to do it. When creating your lists, just make a sublist under each item filled with all the reasons this is something you really want to do. Don’t include items for the sake of including them, but instead focus on the things that make you excited about this task.
It may be hard to inspire yourself to do the laundry, but you can always find reasons. For example, you may have an exciting job interview coming up and you want to look your best, so it’s important to sort your best clothes in advance. The item wouldn’t be on your list if there wasn’t some kind of motivation, so tap into why a task is important to you in the first place. If you can’t figure out why, it might not deserve to be on the list at all.
For more tips on actually finishing off the tasks on your list, read our full guide on making your to-do list do-able.
Influence Yourself With a “Why-Do” List [Psychology Today]