By: Ken Austin
I have a little game I like to play called "The big to-do."
When I feel demotivated and need to get myself moving I find a pen and a piece of paper and write down a to-do list of fifty items. The list can include anything that I have been putting off, daily tasks or projects which I haven't finished. I don't allow for excuses, I simply must write fifty items on the piece of paper.
The game begins as soon as the 50th item is written on the paper. I begin working through the list from top to bottom. Each time I complete a task it is crossed out and I move onto the next. Sometimes the list takes all day, sometimes it doesn't get finished at all. But, things always get done.
There are three reasons this game motivates me:
1 - I treat it like a challenge
When we set challenges for ourselves, we normally ensure they are within our capabilities. By writing a to-do list with 50 items on it I ensure that the task is difficult.
2 - I write down my goals
Our to-do list is usually buried at the back of our minds alongside every other distraction and thought we have. By writing down fifty tasks which need to be completed I can see how many tasks I have been putting off. When something is written on a piece of paper it becomes a tangible reminder which we can keep referring to.
3 - I can keep track of my progress
With every task completed I am able to strike a line through it, this also shows me how many tasks I have left to complete. The closer I get to finishing, the sooner I get to relax.
Outstanding tasks often play on our minds. There is an enormous sense of freedom which can be achieved by clearing your own to-do list. The more things you leave outstanding, the less chance there is of you completing them and being able to fully relax.
Why not play "The big to-do" and clear your to-do list. You could even compete against a partner for a prize, how about "first person to 50 gets taken out to dinner."