Learn how to use to-do lists for maximum productivity

The Secret to Productivity: To-Do Lists

Let’s be honest, majority of us could use assistance with optimizing our lives’ maximum productivity. We are constantly bombarded, from all directions – family, work, personal issues – which contribute to overwhelming stress that make even daily tasks daunting, cultivating procrastination and defeat. To-do lists are an excellent way to focus your mind as a performance coach for personal growth. 

Productivity & Personal Growth

Productivity is correlated with an individuals mental and physical energy and motivation for a desired outcome. We feel most productive when completing tasks that are meaningful and important to our identifying priorities. Productivity can boost our personal growth by preventing procrastination, boosting efficiency and supporting our goals. A growth mindset is essential to productivity by embracing challenges, taking responsibility, and persisting through failures and roadblocks.  Many exercises in the Mindshine app provide tools to focus your goals, create steps for personal growth and identify personal changes to achieve them. We suggest exercises such as Best Future Self, Top Goals, and Facing Failure, which can highlight your goals for growth and begin your productive journey.

Why To-do Lists Maximize Productivity

Research from the University of Toronto suggest that list making can have a positive psychological affect by reinforcing personal identity, calming inner chaos and prioritizing. Clear the mind’s constant flow of information, deadlines, stresses and goals by releasing it onto paper (or a cell phone). According to the Mindshine exercise, The Shit List, any commitment held by the mind creates irrational and unresolvable pressure. Further studies from Wake Forest University showed that tasks we haven’t accomplished distract us, while making a plan to complete them free us from anxiety. Lists can be your performance coach to amplify your focus and organize your intentions; alleviating anxiety, providing structure, mapping out plans and are proof of our accomplishments. And seriously, checking items off a to-do list just feels darn good. 

To-Do Lists Tips

Discovering the most effective to-do list system for you may take some trial and error. To-do lists can be structured based on life categories, timelines, projects, urgency and importance; creating endless opportunities to seize control of your tasks.

Here are some tips to creating the ultimate to-do list:

  • Pay attention to detail. Studies have shown that detailed planning with specific actions will help your brain detect opportunity and seize the moment. Vague goals can cause feelings of confusion and unease, while breaking down goals can provide clarity and organization to avoid overlooking necessary steps.

  • Create a to-do list for everything in your life. Benefit by putting the endless chatter of your brain onto paper and out of your mind, whether your lists consist of “places to go”, “don’t forget”, “write article”, “clean house”, etc. Your brain will thank you.

  • Estimate the timeline of each item to completion. When you allot time for tasks, organizing your day will become easier and ultimately, more productive. 

  • Prioritize based on urgency and importance. Take care of the most pressing tasks, instead of checking off items just for the satisfaction of crossing something off the list.

  • Review. Every day, week, month and year assess the items on your lists. You will gain an understanding of your progress, be able to re-arrange the timeline and importance of tasks and feel more accomplished. 

Recap

We all strive for a more productive life. All of your goals, small or large, are attainable if you have a mindset for growth and use the tools available to you. To-do lists are able to organize and externalize physical actions to reach a goal. We strongly suggest you take advantage of the Mindshine exercises available for maximum results. Exercise suggestions include The Shit List, Bucket List, and Overpowering Procrastination. We can not wait to hear all you’ve accomplished while listing your way through life.


Homebound girl looks out the window and has cabin fever

Well-Being at Home: How to Avoid Cabin Fever as a Family

When we are a society based on constant progression, the quarantine can feel soul crushing. Our once on-the-go lives have taken a sudden halt, creating negative and distressing emotions from being isolated and cut off from the world, known as cabin fever. Family units are forced to stay home with an undercurrent of irritability and agitation. Finding ways to engage your brain and escape are great ways to alleviate these negative feelings. Not only can the entire family avoid cabin fever through participating in activities together, but create deep family bonds and emotional well-being for all. According to the University of Wyoming Family to Family study: spending quality time with children has significant effects on their well-being, including better grades, reduced substance abuse, improved mental health, and social competence.

 

Renovate Together.

No better time than now to tackle that household project or renovation. Who needs a team of painters when there are plenty of hands at home? Get the kids involved with easy diy projects for their room or allowing them to help paint an accent wall. The entire family can appreciate their hard work every time they step in the renovated space. 

 

Spirit Week….at Home. 

Since kids are missing out on school’s social activities, embrace them at home. Spirit week was always a fond memory and can be an excellent way to break the fever. Plan a different theme/color for each day of the week and ask all family members to participate. At the end of the week, hold an intimate “rally” at home by picking color teams and playing games. Include prizes and a homemade feast for added fun during the festivities.

 

Foster.

Animal shelters and rescues have been devastatingly affected by this pandemic, leaving millions of animals in need. Studies have found that animal-human interactions reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness as they enhance social support and general well-being. The entire family will reap the benefits of fostering, such as practicing patience, gratitude and self-lessness, along with having a cute furry friend to love while stuck at home. Contact your local animal rescue or shelter to foster a dog or cat in need.

 

Get creative. 

Spending time on creative activities keeps your brain busy, in turn warding off feelings of boredom and restlessness. The internet is wild with lists of creative ideas to explore. Some examples include indoor/backyard camping, entering virtual talent contests, making homemade musical instruments and homebound scavenger hunts. Mindeshine’s Crazy Creative training program can get those creative juices flowing and promote everyone’s unique creativity. The interactive training exercises include finding creativity in uncommon objects, adopting the imagination of children, taking on new perspectives and much more.

 

Utilizing the daily Mindshine exercises and engaging in family activities can be essential to surviving quarantine and avoiding cabin fever. When life returns to our new normal and we have braved the pandemic, the family will be a stronger and more balanced unit.  


[:en]Personal growth leads to well being.[:]

How to Maintain Personal Growth in Chaotic Times

While stressing about our loved ones and global instability, during an unprecedented time of pandemic chaos and uncertainty, it is easy to loose focus of our personal growth and well-being. With the enforcement of social distancing and closures of non-essential businesses, we can use the abundance of homebound time as an opportunity to switch off autopilot and get to know ourselves. Recognizing and subsequently following your dreams gives you purpose, motivation and fuels happiness. Turn lemons into lemonade by turning social distancing into prioritizing self-care and emerging from the pandemic aftermath as a more focused, intuned and happier version of our prior selves. The following tips and the Mindshine app will assist in building a growth mindset and creating your best self.

Engage in Honest Reflection

Key word: Honest. True internal growth begins with recognizing both your strengths and weaknesses. Instead of blaming society for your unemployment, acknowledge your personal disappointment for not extending 100% effort in the job search. Take one small action every day to combat such weakness, like improving your resume or applying to a set number of job postings daily. While sipping your morning coffee, quietly reflect, taking note of your strengths, weaknesses and unresolved issues. We suggest the Life of Purpose activity in the Mindshine app, which prompts individualized reflection through weekly guided questions and exercises that turns inspiration into action. Ultimately, this practice will provide an outline of ways to maximize and amplify strengths and areas to work through with therapy and behavior change to achieve life’s purpose. The road to greatness may be daunting, but with emotional intensity and repetition, can lead to clarity and mental freedom.

Self Discovery => Personal Growth

The majority of us live daily life like Groundhog’s Day, in a blur following the same routine, with our most exciting decision being the restaurant we order take out from. Evolve with this ample time by identifying a grander purpose. Foster plans for that dream to start up an animal rescue, own a niche cafe, or write a cheesy romance novel. Utilize the Life of Purpose Where I Want to Be exercises to imagine your most ideal self with these questions: Who is your ideal self and what are your achievements? Who are your role models and why do they inspire you? What does your best future life look like in 10 years? How would you feel after you’ve accomplished this? Make a list (down to the minute detail) of all the steps and sub-steps needed to align your actions with your objective. Lastly, research and implement positive changes; executing your plan for a life fulfilled.

Positivity and Gratitude

The pandemic has created an era of global unrest, negativity and stress, yet we have sole control over our mental health and actions for self growth. Choose to think more positively and powerfully about what your future can hold and what you’re capable of. Practicing gratitude naturally boosts your self-confidence by reducing feelings of envy and provides a greater understanding of what you value in life. Finding gratitude may be difficult during trying times, but with the use of Mindshine prompts, you can assess individualized thankfulness. In addition, we suggest creating a gratitude journal, FaceTime or email someone you appreciate to say thank you or simply mediate on life’s blessings.

Recap

In the time of a global pandemic, in which the outside world has come to a halt, you can maximize this time for personal growth. We hope you will use the tools above, along with the Mindshine app exercises, to ensure your post pandemic amazingness.