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!