One is Helpful, Two is a Catastrophe

One is Helpful, Two is a Catastrophe

Roughly 80% of the people who write to-do lists prefer hand written to do lists that goes in a diary or a notebook (including me). I think its just the small happy feeling that you get from checking something off your to-do list. Sometimes people would just write something that’s already being done on their list just to tick it away and feel good about it.

By why is it so? Why do we like checking the doing list off the diary using a pen or pencil? because it makes is feel accomplished. It makes us feel achieved, gratified, satisfied, relaxed, worthy and reliable. The small shot of dopamine that our body releases on completing a task and signing off your to-do list is a self achieved feeling.

But that’s not the case when it comes to consistent actions, projects or assignments. Take meditation for example, you’d find yourself feeling all good about it the first day and so on for a few days when suddenly you take an off day from mediation. That is not the problem though, the devil arrives when you take a second day off in a row, because by the 3rd off day you’d no longer want to meditate.

How often does it happen with us? With gym memberships, with diet routines, with morning walks, with learning something new, with reading books and so on. The moment we take 2 days off in a row we don’t seem to feel the same hook for going back and doing it and we find it easy to procrastinate and give up on the idea altogether.

Then you’d find yourself saying “Meditation isn’t showing results, its not for me”, “I’ll definitely go to the gym from next week”, “I’m currently busy with work, maybe I’ll never get time for eating right”, and many excuses that you can think of. That’s your lizard brain talking to you.

Here’s what we can do, give ourselves checkpoint and rewards of completing an action (Yes just like a dog). In your to-do list, also keep a section where you can write what you did today and how you felt about it. A simple “I did a yoga session today, I’m feeling stiffed but I’ll do it again tomorrow” would work.

The point of writing here is to remind your brain that what you’re doing is important and you shall continue to do it because its important for survival. That is also the reason why we like checking things off to-do lists, it makes us feel that something important has been completed.

Try it for a week and see the results for yourself.


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