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The Simple To-Do List Formula That Can Make You Feel Good All Day

Do you need a little inspiration to get things done? Often, it’s not the strategy to get things done that fails. It’s the inspiration to get going, and keep going that falls short. Your inspiration.

If you really want to get inspired to tackle your to-do list, then you need an infusion of positive feelings. And you need to keep them up all day long. This leads to a positive attitude. When this is the case, your productivity will soar.

Rob Markey wrote the following in Harvard Business Review blog post,

“It’s one more sign of the growing recognition that happy, engaged employees are more productive and generate better outcomes for their companies.”

Here’s the thing: Don’t wait for the positive feelings related to accomplishment to show up on their own. When you set up your to-do list for the day, take a lesson from NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) and program them in! The to-do list formula in this post will show you how. It’s all in the set up.

Here are 5 steps to feeling good all day long:

1. Identify the positive feelings you want to feel during your day

Be intentional. Write down a list of feelings you want to feel as you accomplish each task during the day. You’re free to choose for yourself.

Use this list as a primer:

  • Proud of yourself
  • Responsible
  • Relieved
  • Excited
  • At Peace
  • Self-Assured
  • Grounded
  • Balanced
  • Joyful
  • Inspired
  • Worthy
  • Calm
  • Love

You name how you want to feel during your day.

2. Attach each task on your to-do list to a specific feeling from your list

In other words, identify specifically how you will feel upon completing each task. This means that each item on your list gets an extra designation. For example:

  • Take out trash: I will feel responsible
  • Complete proposal for (so-and-so): I will feel excited
  • Finish my taxes: I will feel relieved
  • Exercise: I will feel proud of myself

Attaching a specific positive feeling on your to-do list programs your mind and body to actually feel that feeling at the appropriate time. This is a huge step toward living a conscious and intentional life.

3. Dip your toe in the water

You can drive your inner expectation home by imagining the completed task and getting a sense of the positive feeling in your body. Do it right now. Imagine completing a task that you’ve attached to a feeling of relief, for example. Do you feel the slight sense of relief in your body? You should if you’re doing it thoroughly.

When you imagine something well, your body responds. When you’re getting ready to order at a restaurant, your mind goes through a similar process. You’re imagining the foods you’d like, and your body responds to the images on the menu or in your mind. You may even salivate.

Prime your emotional pump by imagining your task completion and getting a slight hit on the positive emotion that is sure to come. This will increase your level of motivation.

4. When you complete a task, take a moment

It doesn’t have to be self-indulgent. You don’t need to pretend that taking out the trash is a great gift to mankind. Yet, if you’ve set your to-do list up right, you’ll feel positive. Take a few moments to acknowledge the feeling before moving on to the next task.

Pin It5. Let it snowball

If you follow this formula, you absolutely will arrive at genuinely positive feelings throughout your day. Let it work. Let the effects snowball. Before long, you’ll wake up in the morning with a positive expectation of getting to feel good throughout your day.

When you anticipate what you have to do, you’ll see the positive feeling potential. You can then work from positive feeling to positive feeling all day long.

Table Of Contents

Katherine Hurst
By Mike Bundrant
Mike Bundrant is co-founder of the iNLP center, which offers internationally accredited online training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

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