The Power of Checklists!
Hey friends! It's been a minute! (Actually its been a year oops!) I'm back and I'm still trying my best and I'm here to talk about something truly near and dear to my heart... checklists. That is, surprisingly, not sarcasm. Guys, I like really love checklists. If you, like me, have ADHD/anxiety/depression/brain that feels like swiss cheese and can't hold onto important information, you too can benefit from the humble to-do list. I'm sure this seems like some pretty freaking obvious advice, and it is, but that doesn't mean it can't actually be helpful! I'm serious my whole notes app on my phone is full of different lists: my daily checklist, books to read, tv shows to watch, meals to try to make, a list of lists I need to make ( I wish I was joking) and you know what? It helps! And it's motivating!
Time for some ~science~ *cue the Bill Nye theme song*! The act of checking tasks off a list, any task on any list, gives your brain a hit of dopamine. What's dopamine? A neurotransmitter that floats through your brain and makes you feel happy and motivated in short. Dopamine is basically the reward chemical, it's associated with memory, mood, and attention. So when you check one task off your list, the dopamine rush motivates you to complete more tasks! Hooray for a way to trick your brain into productivity! When I'm feeling depressed or I have anxiety paralysis, I take the tasks I need to do and I break them down into the smallest steps I can and I put them on a list. Usually it goes like this, my big task for the morning? Getting ready for work. This is how I break it down:
get out of bed
make bed so I don't get back into it
walk into bathroom
put on pants
put on shirt
put on makeup
These little bite size chunks just aren't as intimidating as one big task, when I was in college I used to check off one paragraph of writing an essay at a time. And once you're moving, its easier to keep moving!