Motivation Monday: To-Do Lists

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on March 3, 2019

For those of you who slug through your Monday mornings, we’re here to provide a little motivation.

If you are lamenting the end of the weekend and dreading the return to the office, GritDaily has an avenue to connect with many others. We can motivate you to help get your work week off to a good start.

If anyone out there is like me, my Monday lists aren’t motivating at all. They tend to have way too many To Do’s, which can be overwhelming. To combat that sense that you have ten million things to do and no time to do them all (yet it’s still only 8:00 am Monday), write out your list on Sunday night. Then take another look at it Monday morning.

TIP OF THE WEEK: get organized before Monday even begins.

Organized people tend to be more successful in life. Why? Writing lists to organize and prioritize tasks is one of the many tools and techniques that people utilize to achieve their goals. Lists also enable people to track and measure progress, which motivates people to continue the practice. Positive reinforcement can go a loooooong way on any day, but especially so on a Monday morning when motivational levels are often at their lowest.

For many people, getting a visual on the week ahead improves their productivity. By seeing all the tasks together,  it’s easier to carve out time to dedicate to each task. Highly disciplined people may even eliminate social time in order to meet the goal of the week. Gasp!

But I don’t recommend that you skip out on friends every week as that would quickly put you on the path to having no friends to socialize with. On the flipside, most of us are motivated by some reward. Achieving all your tasks is cause for celebration so going out on Thursday or Friday will feel like a reward.

Even hyper-organized people procrastinate and don’t write their To Do lists on Sunday night. However, studies have shown that those who don’t will toss and turn, running a mental checklist of the 101 things they have to do. To combat this, go old school by keeping a paper and pen on your night table. Jot down the tasks then put your head back down on the pillow. You’ll sleep better knowing that you have a plan.

If your plan has more than 10 To Do’s, take another look at it.  Especially if you want to be motivated enough to get through your Monday – and the week ahead. Perhaps you added some trivial little items to your list that don’t really need to be there. For example, do you really need to list “get my nails done” or “call Mom”? Too many “to do’s” will affect your ability to focus and could set you on a path of paralysis and procrastination. Knock out the “big ones” first.

Ok, so you may not be the most organized person. Fret not! According to John Trosko, the founder of OrganizingLA, he has learned through his practice that:

Organized people are not born; they’re built.”

Alas, there is hope for all of us.

The 3 Rules of Organization

#1 – Do the Right Thing

It sounds so simple but if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. Refocus your energy on doing the right thing.

#2 – Do the Best You Can

Acknowledge that there will be some days where you perform better than others. Do your best and give yourself permission to not deliver 101% all. The. Time.

#3 – Always Show People You Care

My personal philosophy is to never leave bodies in my wake. Whatever you do, show people that you care by doing the right thing and doing the best that you can.

What’s Your Motivational Story?

This is Yalitza Aparicio. Two months ago, I had not even heard of the movie, Roma, that she stars in, yet it is the movie favored to win the Oscar for Best Picture. Intrigued, I watched this deeply personal and authentic look into a day-in-the-life of an ordinary woman in Mexico in the 1970s.

Unlike the movie itself, Yalitza, her story and her performance are anything but ordinary. The film marked her acting debut and garnered her a Best Actress Nomination. Such a meteoric rise from zero to hero is uncommon.

Her perspective is both refreshing and motivating at the same time. She says that she represents everyone who’s stories have yet to be told and embodies the “anything can happen” philosophy. Indeed, we should all dare to dream.

By Loralyn Mears PhD Loralyn Mears PhD has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Journalist verified by Muck Rack verified

Dr. Loralyn Mears is a Columnists and Podcast host at Grit Daily. She is a content marketer, founder of the HRtech startup, STEERus, specializing in personalized training and coaching in soft skills. In her consultancy practice, she helps companies with their go-to-market strategies, content and more. Loralyn spent over a decade playing with mosquito DNA, got her PhD, decided she would rather market science than be at the bench and has never looked back. Along the way, she’s wined and dined her way around the globe. She's authored two books, including the 2018 Gold Medal Indie Book award-winning, One Sip At a Time: a Memoir and the hard science thriller, "The Battle for Humanity: How Science Saved Us."  Check out Grit Daily's LIKE A BOSS podcast which features fascinating guests with snappy insights!

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