We’ve probably all experienced the ‘Zeigarnik effect’, the persisting nagging feeling you get when you leave a task half-finished to move onto a new task. It was assumed that the only way to overcome this feeling was to return to the task and complete your goal. However, a study showed that simply by writing a specific plan about how to fulfil the goal later the nagging feeling can be eliminated.
Productivity guru David Allen’s Get Things Done manual provides some helpful tips on how to achieve this successfully. He recommends taking your simple to do list and rewriting it to create specific actions; so ‘write blog post’ becomes ‘research and write blog post on the merits of the to-do list’. This helps change an item into something you have to do, into something you have to physically do. You don’t need a fancy app or software for this either, just a pen and paper. All this helps you get the things you have to get done, so you can do the things you want to do.
Winning to me is about action, leaping from getting thing done to making things happen.