If you’re like me, then you have a mile-long to-do list. All the time.
Though sometimes I am scolding myself for trying to shorten it given that this list is basically my life laid out.
In any case, to-do lists can get stressful. Here are 3 ways to increase your productivity and feel free.
1. Convince yourself first
When the US government wanted citizens to consume animal organs (like liver), because most conventional meat was sent overseas in WWII, an interesting experiment ensued.
Housewives were the food gatekeepers in charge of planning meals, so psychologist Lewin and his team gathered two groups of housewives.
They lectured the first group on benefits of consuming animal organs, like many health campaigns do today. The second group discussed ways of convincing other people to change their diet. Guess what happened?
They discovered that nearly five times more families in the second discussion group changed diets. By taking objections off the table, the second group had successfully convinced themselves that organ parts were worth consuming.
We can use this in our own lives as well.
YES you have a to-do list and you’re going to get this done while feeling free.
Take the first item on your list and tell someone how you’re going to do it. If you sound confident, they’ll believe you. When you’re persuading someone else, you’re essentially persuading yourself– you’ve just skyrocketed the chances of getting it done.
2. Cut your list in half
A story is not a list of disjointed facts. That’s why we love them– stories let us focus. Focus is valuable in a buzzy world like ours.
Life is more interesting when you can shape any situation into beginning, middle, and end. In fact, you are living a story right now.
When I show an unpublished article to my sister, she says, “That’s not what I said.”
“I paraphrased,” I say. “It’s the truth as I lived it.”
Make your life a worthwhile narrative by focussing on a few things each week. But make these exceptional.
3. Take fake breaks (when you can’t afford real ones)
I’m working on a secret project. Today, I remembered to take a break, and began looking up people I’ve interviewed on Artiden– which is still related to the project. A fake break.
- Noa Kageyama balances intense psychology principles with cute cat photos so your head doesn’t explode.
- In addition to being a pianist, Reuel Meditz can pull off any hairstyle up to his chin so he’s basically a model now.
- Erica Sipes wrote a coffee table book on her “frequently distributed practice tips.”
There are a million cool people I want to tell you about, but 90% of the text will be edited out by the time I publish. So if you’re reading, I want to give you a big high-five.
Now cross off everything on your to-do list except the 3 you’re actually going to finish this week. And tackle the first one.