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Human Performance Blog

To Do, To Done


Shout out to all the Quarantine/Isolation sprinters that are realizing that this is a Marathon.


Another month has rolled by and the Corona D-day remains elusive. Managing our mental and emotional resources, ability to respond, and cope becomes essential.


When faced with an enduring challenge, that is, one that lasts longer than we planned or prepared for, our emotional resources can fluctuate or dwindle.


The tool most often used in Human Performance Psychology to help performers harness their productivity, process goals and manage their energy from day to day is the planner or TO DO list.


The TO DO list is designed to add structure and purpose to the day. By helping the performer clearly state what they want to do, they are able to approach each day with a High Performance Mindset. Crossing things OFF a TO DO list as you complete them, can make you feel better psychologically, emotionally, and physically. Making it one of the main tools used to build confidence.


TO DO lists can often be daunting (super long), seem useless (when we have no control over how the day is going to go), and some days we just don’t want TO DO at all.


So, does this mean that High Performers are special? Are they consistently, In The Zone and never get Burned Out? The truth is, that they are just like us; with ups and downs, good days and bad days.

The difference is that they mind-hack the downs with Perspective and the bad days with Acceptance. Most importantly, they harness their stores of Motivation.

Motivation is the WILL to or WANT to do something.


Motivation is a core mental skill that can be Instrinsic and come from inside you; satisfaction, curiousity, belonging, and learning or Extrinsic, that is, from the outside; prizes, recognition, and fear of failure. High Performers, although mostly intrinsically motivated can also be extrinsically motivated. Where does your motivation come from?

What do you do though, when you don’t want TO DO at all,

and motivation is at an all-time low?


Try a DONE list.

Creating a DONE list is a useful strategy for when you feel demotivated.

Feeling this way for short periods of time is normal. During and after a Trauma (Covid-19 is a trauma), it can be more difficult to get or find motivation. Resting, taking a break, and adding a meditation practice is usually the first form of defense. Meditate with Dr.V


How do you use the DONE list to build motivation? So that you can start TO DO again?


The DONE list is created throughout the day, by writing down the things that you have DONE. Ranging from the very simple and mundane activities to bigger tasks.

This might sound way too simple. But let's face it, when you are sitting at the back of the struggle bus, simple is just what the doctor ordered.


The only rule is that you write it down.


Writing down the DONE list increases self awareness, feelings of confidence and increases your stores of motivation by celebrating each, little win you have.


Give it a Try...

Write it down...


When you brush your teeth, finish that movie, make your bed, have a meal (each meal counts), read a blog, or even shower.


At the end of the day, you will have a pretty solid list of things that you’ve done, or accomplished!

Take the opportunity to celebrate surviving and then thriving in manageable steps.

With your DONE list.

So you can conquer more of your days.

With your TO DO list.

Still feeling stuck in a rut? Check in with Dr.V

1 Comment


Excellent article on the Done List!! Definitely something to give a go!


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