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How To Get Motivated To Complete Your To Do List

We all have to do lists, they just come in many different forms.  I try to keep mine all in Outlook, but I don’t always remember to add a to do task there. Smile My mother keeps bits of paper all over the place… how she can keep up with them is beyond me.  Personally, I hate my to do list sometimes!  I spend a few hours knocking things off it and get so excited, then do a brain dump and fill it right back up again. Smile Now, we are going to learn how to get motivated and stay that way!

Anyway, the point is that everyone has stuff they need to be doing.  So, how can we get (or stay) motivated to keep plugging away at that never ending to do list?  Here are a few helpful tips to get you off your bum (or on it if necessary, LOL) and crossing off the things on your list!

Complete The Small Tasks – Look over your to do list and choose 3 super easy, super small tasks then do them!  You have now completed 3 things that took virtually no time.  For me, this helps to get me in the mood to tackle some of the more pressing items.

Re-Write Your List – It is amazing to me how much I can get done just by re-writing that list, especially if it is a long list.  I find that I will get up and do something just to keep from writing it again. Smile

Break It Up – Do you have a large task that needs doing but you keep putting it off?  Grab a blank piece of paper and brain storm all of the smaller tasks it will take to actually complete that task.  For example:  Write Hickory Farms Review:

    • Photograph Hickory Farms
    • Eat Hickory Farms
    • Find Twitter and FaceBook links
    • Look up prices
    • 10 minutes drafting my ideas
    • 10 minutes on post

That gives me 6 tasks and they all seem pretty easy.  So, if I just start with number one, before you know it the post is done!

Find a To Do List Buddy – There are many places to find a to do list buddy.  Someone to motivate you and keep you accountable!

Are just a few of them out there.  Many of the ning groups also have cleaning buddies, you just have to look. Smile

Start a Competition – Challenge some of your Twitter friends or FaceBook to knock out their to do list for a few minutes.  Get creative and even challenge them to something specific like:

    • Go clean every toilet in your house then rush back to say it is done!
    • Tell us the 6th item on your to do list, then run do it.
    • Work on your to do list for 30 minutes, then come back and tell us everything you accomplished!

It could be really fun and motivating to try to out do everyone else, or be the first one back. Smile

Use Your Timer – How long can you work?  Set a timer for 10 minutes or even 5 minutes and start something on your list.  Chances are you will find that you are really into it when that timer goes off.  Keep working!  Or, if you are waiting on that timer, then stop for 5 minutes then come back.

What about you? How do you get motivated?  Do you have a great trick that will help you get out of your to do list rut?

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This post may contain affiliate links - any opinions stated are strictly my own!

About Kelli Miller

My husband (Ricky) of 15 years, our three wild and wonderfully different little boys, one totally spoiled little dog named Annie, and I live in a small town on the coast of Southern Alabama.


  1. One thing that helps me is to have an end to my list. If something new comes up, I put it on tomorrow’s list. That forces me to finish today’s list without getting distracted by new stuff.
    Deb´s last blog post ..What Should You Know About Gluten

    • @Deb, Deb, that is such a good idea! I don’t do that, but maybe I should… what about the stuff that comes up that HAS to be done today?

  2. Crystal & Co. says:

    Excellent suggestions for getting readers involved and motivating everyone to clean!
    Crystal & Co.´s last blog post ..How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer

  3. Nice read. I just keep following my spreadsheet, where each cell tells me what to do and when. I make adjustment from time to time. After all you need a discipline to complete all your todos in time.

    Thanks again,
    couponboa´s last blog post ..Christmas Gift for Golf Lovers- Best Selling Clubheads 15 Off

  4. What great ideas. I’d never have thought of some of those myself. I rarely use to do lists actually, I just remember most of what I need to do. I’d probably use them more if I had Outlook or a better way to handle them.
    Callista´s last blog post ..Guest Article- 5 Steps to Cut Through the Holiday Crap

  5. when I plan for a certain tasks, I always have this to do list on my notes. But I all end up unfinished them all. Taking slowly to perform such list is a great way to complete them.
    Medical Conditions´s last blog post ..Just Another Health Benefit From Eating Green Leafies

  6. Eric Graham Review says:

    To get motivated, a positive thinking should be include also in order for the tasks to be completed. I agree that taking the small tasks first is a great way to keep your activities going until you’ve reached those tasks that are more difficult to deal with.

  7. Tawnya Sather says:

    I love it! Thank you for all the great ideas! I have been the worst procrastinator lately!


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