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Get More Done and Feel Happier: How a To-Do List Can Help

Updated: May 8, 2023

A picture of a person putting checkmarks in boxes. It really helps you get more done and feel happier!
Get more done and feel happier by making a to-do list

For today's challenge, make a to-do list!

Why make a to-do list?

they dampen anxiety about the chaos of life; they give us a structure, a plan that we can stick to; and they are proof of what we have achieved that day, week or month.

(Chunn, 2017)

How does making a to-do list help me get more done and feel happier?

First of all, it helps you set goals for the day/week/month/year. By setting daily goals, you also help decrease your indecision paralysis about what to do for the day. One key tip is to select 3 priority items you will do each day and make sure you focus on those and get them done. By writing down those 3, you have focused to your day and get more done.

Secondly, when you actually accomplish those items and cross them off your list, it makes you feel happier because you have a sense of accomplishment that you completed that action. I find that even when I make a list of several little things like 'make an appointment with X' or 'change the air filter', I feel so much better about my day, and I feel empowered to take on larger tasks. Each 'undone' item causes some anxiety in my mind, so by having visual evidence that I completed it, I feel emboldened to take on more.

I have always been an avid list maker and find benefits to handwritten and electronic lists. I like to start every year/month/week/day with a bit of reflection on the tasks I want to accomplish. I really enjoy using a bullet journal system to track and plan my time. I also love Microsoft To-Do for keeping lists of all sorts (has a great feature for creating a fresh list each day) and Trello for its ability to manage projects and set up automation for daily tasks.

So, what are your 3 priority items today?

Business card for Cordes Lindow, a learning consultant and coach
Cordes Lindow, Learning Coach

Chunn, L. (2017, May 10). The psychology of the to-do list – why your brain loves ordered tasks. The Guardian; The Guardian.


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