Do you ever stare down an enormous to-do list and think: “Ugh. I don’t want to do any of this.”
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a long list of tasks that you lose all motivation to get started?
And I’ll be the first to admit that it’s super frustrating!
We know what we need to do.
And we often know how to do it.
But for one reason or another, we struggle to get it done.
I’ve talked about different ways to handle this productivity challenge in previous posts.
I shared strategies for single-tasking to help you stay focused and resist distraction.
I’ve talked about time blocking to help you work through your list efficiently.
And I’ve shared how “finding your why” helps you rediscover your motivation to get things done.
Well, today I’m excited to share with you another one of my favorite hacks to help you find your drive and complete your to-do list quickly.
Boost Your Motivation and Complete Your To-Do List
This idea comes from the brilliant Nataly Kogan. I read about it in her book Happier Now (if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend checking it out!)
As Nataly suggests, when you are struggling to complete your to-do list (or if you haven’t started in the first place!) ask yourself this one simple question:
Who is this task helping?
So many of us are driven by the desire to help others, whether it’s our immediate family, our colleagues at work, or our greater community.
When we recognize that our actions often benefit others, we discover the spark of motivation we need to get started.
Yes, you might have to dig deep to uncover who you’re helping occasionally, but 99.9% of the time, someone benefits from your hard work.
How We Help Others With Our To-Do Lists
There are immediately obvious ways that we help, i.e., I’m doing my family’s laundry so they have clean clothes to wear this week.
There are also broader connections i.e., I am writing this blog post so that I can share the information and provide YOU lovely readers with motivation to complete your to-do list.
And there are tedious tasks, i.e., I am grading 60 papers, so my students receive valuable feedback and have the opportunity to grow as writers and thinkers.
By taking time to think about who I am helping, I quickly rediscover my motivation, and I sit down to work.
It’s a simple little hack, but it’s remarkably effective!
What do you think? Does this hack help motivate you to complete your to-do list? What other strategies do you use to get through your tasks? Share them below!