WHY CHECK OFF THE CHECKBOXES?

How many times have you packed a bag to go on a trip, only to fumble through everything because you aren’t quite sure if you did in fact put in your socks? It’s really frustrating because you had planned to put it in, but now that you’re all packed you aren’t quite sure.

Although all of us may not use it we are aware of the benefits that come with making checklists – putting down and organising things to help you get things done.

While I am a big advocate of the values of using a checklist, the benefits of the ‘checkboxes’ within the checklist is truly the game changer for me.

If you are a “checklist” person – you know the joy of checking off the completed tasks on your ‘to-do’ list. I confess to times when I have entered tasks that had already been completed into my checklist, only to derive the joy that comes from checking it off.

Research shows that checking items off on your checklist releases small amounts of dopamine, which in turn encourages you to keep doing more. To me the proverbial ‘checkbox’ offers that and so much more.

putting things down and organising them help you get things done.

1. Checking off completed tasks, reduces the chaos and anxiety in your mind. You no longer need to keep replaying the same tasks around in your head. The Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenon describing a tendency to remember interrupted or incomplete tasks or events more easily than tasks that have been completed. It supports the idea that crossing off items on a to-do list removes any distractions from completed tasks and frees your mind for things that are more important. Basically once a task is marked as complete the brain is ready to let it go.

 

2. When you no longer need to bother with completed tasks, it is a lot easier to focus and plan ahead for the things that need to get done. It’s kind of like baby steps – you only need to handle what is immediately in front of you.

The sense of accomplishment that comes from checking off or scratching out a completed task leaves you feeling encouraged and on top of things. The checked off items on your ‘to do’ list is proof of what you have achieved that day, week or month. It shows you that you accomplished something real and meaningful. Each item on your checklist was a challenge (large or small) that was overcome.

As mums, our minds are constantly juggling so many different roles and responsibilities and some of us struggle with figuring out what it is that we need to do, to deal with everything that needs to get done. We are constantly consumed by what we ought to be doing, and what we’ve already done.

The ‘to-do’ list is your obvious solution – providing you with support and direction.

Creating daily task lists that are achievable, allows you to go through your days with a certain level of structure. Fit in things that you have been meaning to do, but haven’t gotten down to doing. Seeing everything side by side helps you prioritise and do what is truly important to you.

The checklist or the to-do list is a well-established system that is simple and easily customizable based on your individual needs and your ways of functioning – put down what needs to get done, organise your thoughts, categorize tasks, get them done and then ceremoniously check them off.

I have found that there is time in my day for everything that is really important to me.

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