Checklist Endorphins??

Hello, my name is Jessie and I’m a list maker. There, it’s out. I confess – I have grocery lists, meal plan lists, homeschool lists, to-do lists, books-I-want-to-read lists, and this list I’ve made of lists I like to make could go on and on. (Does the word list look strange to anyone else after that many repetitions?)

I’ve been laughed at for my list making, and although it genuinely doesn’t bother me, you can imagine my delight the other day when I heard that checking boxes on a to-do list actually releases endorphins.

That’s right, those oh-so desirable, feel-good endorphins are actually released into our bodies when we physically mark an item off of our list. (Physically, meaning marking it out with a writing utensil on paper. The same effect was not found to be true when marking it off of an electronic device.)

It’s so exciting to me that there’s actually science to back up my list making habits now! But whether you’re a list maker or not, let’s look at this a little further.

What does this new knowledge of endorphin-releasing checkmarks mean for us?

It means the more we check off our lists, the more motivated we are to continue doing so. Endorphins are that boost we need in order to get into a groove so we can stay on task.

This new knowledge also means that it’s absolutely okay, and even encouraged, to write menial tasks on our lists entirely for the benefit of crossing them off.

“Get up.” Check!

“Make coffee.” Check! Sweet, I’m on a roll!

Let’s give ourselves some time to start releasing those endorphins with smaller tasks before attempting the meatier ones like exercising or paying bills.

I gotta say…this new information definitely reduces the amount of crazy I’ve felt for all those times I backfilled my list for the sole purpose of checking more items off.

It’s science, people!

Maybe you’re not a list person. Maybe lists make you feel confined or burdened. Maybe you’ll never be a list person. And that’s okay. (I guess.)

BUT, maybe it’s just time to try again. In this busy age of existence, information bombards our senses at all hours of the day. It’s certainly enough to make the important things slip my mind if I haven’t written them down.

List makers rejoice! The next time someone scoffs at us and our list making ways, we’ll be armed and ready with science to back ourselves up. You can’t argue with endorphins.

Non-list makers, fear not! Now is the time to try again, making sure to add several easy tasks to your list first in order to get that endorphin boost before you tackle the rest of the list.

And while this topic may not be quite as deep as many of my posts, I really do love a good nugget of health related encouragement. And I love lists. So, you know…win-win!

Have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend and thanks for reading! I’d love to hear any comments you may have – feel free to post them below!

6 thoughts on “Checklist Endorphins??

  1. #1-Read Jessie’s blog…done.
    #2-Comment on Jessie’s blog…
    So I’m not great at lists, although I’ve had to learn to use them and appreciate them at work. It seems easier to remember what to do when I’m referring to the list. However, I often forget to make a list to begin with, so then I forget to put stuff on it. Then it’s just an all around failure when the list failed to remind me and I failed to complete the list.
    Anyway, I appreciate people who are organized enough to have well managed lists. It makes me want to be better about lists.
    #3-Get better at lists…

    1. Chip,
      It’s so much easier for me to remember what needs done when I use a list; once it’s on the paper I don’t have to keep it in my head with everything else! Thanks for the comment and best of luck to you as you endeavor to expand your list making skills, lol.

  2. I am rejoicing with you about this happy new tidbit of information! How awesome is this? And how did we not know this already? It makes so much sense! I also feel validated, as a list maker from way back, that I’m NOT crazy for thinking that electronically marking a list item as completed is NOT the same as physically crossing it off! YAY for endorphins and thanks for making all of us list makers out here stand a little taller, haha! Great post!

  3. Love, love, love, this. I’d read that checking off produces endorphins, but you’ve taken that information to a whole new level! (Though sometimes I wish I had a list of where I’ve left my lists which are often scattered about.) I have just recently started using an app I have found actually works for me though-all the lists in one place and so very simple to use. Now that I know checking off electronically doesn’t have the same effect, I’ll just have to keep track of my lists there and transfer them to paper for health-boosting endorphins release.
    A fun and encouraging post. Thank you b

    1. Haha, I’d hate for you to start losing your paper lists again if you found a great app that works for you, CJ! I guess only you can weigh that one out for yourself… 🙂 Thanks for commenting and good luck!

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