Check out this new post from Alexandra Franzen, the author of “The Checklist Book.”
In these especially challenging times, it’s so important to breathe, stay calm, and focus on the things you can control–rather than obsessing about the things you cannot.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try making a checklist.
Checklists are like an extra storage tank for your weary, over-stuffed brain.
Research confirms that making a checklist can help you feel calmer and more focused, and can shift your body on a physiological level.
When you check off a completed item, this creates that oh-so-satisfying burst of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps you feel more positive, think clearly, and solve problems creatively.
Personally, I know that making a checklist helps me feel more steady, strong, and grounded during turbulent times. Checklists are good medicine.
Here are a few checklist ideas and downloadable templates for you. (All of these templates are free. Enjoy.)
- Working from home? Here’s a checklist with suggestions on how to set yourself up for a calm, focused, and successful workday.
- Got a bunch of unexpected free time? Maybe a project got cancelled, your shop is temporarily closed, or a trip has been postponed. Instead of panicking, try to use your time purposefully. Here’s a checklist of different ways to use your free time productively–and strengthen your business or career.
- Feeling stuck? A checklist to help you finish a project you’ve started.
- Need to find more clients and line up some work? A checklist full of marketing ideas, including lots of ideas that don’t involve social media. Because social media is optional, not mandatory.
- Tired of endlessly scrolling on your phone? A checklist to help you reduce screen-time, create a healthier relationship with your devices, and create more quiet and space in your day.
- Want a fresh approach for planning your day? Here’s my personal method for creating a Daily Checklist, which I do every single night before bed. (I make tomorrow’s checklist *today* and print it out in advance.)
- Lots more checklist templates here: including a Self-Care Checklist, Workout Checklist, and others.
Take good of yourself. One tiny step (and one tiny checkmark) at a time.
Set Realistic Goals, Celebrate Tiny Wins, Reduce Stress and Overwhelm, and Feel Calmer Every Day (For Fans of The Checklist Manifesto, Atomic Habits, or Checklist for Life)
Simplicity at its best: The checklist is one of the world’s oldest—and most effective—productivity systems. If anything, author and entrepreneur Alexandra Franzen shares, it is just as valuable now as it was during the days of the Roman Empire. Writing out a simple checklist allows us to tangibly plan our day and set in stone what we want to accomplish.
Cut out unnecessary noise: There are countless apps and organizational systems out there to help us straighten out our lives, but often they only add to the madness. Trying to keep up leaves us feeling drained and overwhelmed. Learn how to choose your highest priorities, set realistic goals, celebrate tiny wins, and feel calmer every day with the magic of checklists.