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A to do list hack that might make 2016 the year you actually get shit done

With the new year comes new goals and resolutions. Unfortunately, our to-do lists often feel stale after a couple of weeks; we lose our motivation and resolutions fall to the wayside. But there’s a hack for that lag in productivity!

to do lists busy

The excitement of a new year…

With the new year comes new goals and resolutions. After the champagne from New Year’s Eve has worn off, but before we hit the gym and buy our organizing bins–we sit down to plan. The first step, after all, to getting fit, meeting professional milestones, and becoming more responsible is to document everything in a to-do list, so that we can be reminded of our goals as the year wears on.

… and then, reality hits

Unfortunately, our to-do lists often feel stale after a couple of weeks; we lose our motivation and resolutions fall to the wayside. Cleaning out a closet or finishing an hour of cardio looks pretty lame compared to say, hitting up happy hour with a friend or watching a series on Netflix.

However,’s blog has the antidote for that lag in productivity. Their solution? Turn those to-do lists into a set of dares.

Double dog dare you

Oftentimes, the problem is that our to-do lists just bore us after a while. Injecting them with some next-level motivation might be exactly what we need to approach them (in the months after January especially) with fresh eyes.

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When tasks are paired with small risks, they can be exciting again. Compare “starting a blog” with “working with a local business to co-promote and have a blog launch party.” Is it scarier? Yes! Is it more fun? Absolutely. 

Or instead of simply “reading a business book” perhaps “reading a new business book and live-tweeting about it” could be more thrilling and approachable on a to-do list. “Making birthday videos and posting them on YouTube” is more creatively fulfilling (and, again, scary!) than just “buying birthday cards on time.”

Resolutions into action items

These extra steps might pay off big, by personalizing productivity, and providing a new way to stretch ourselves beyond the norm. Let’s face it, when February rolls around, we all need the extra oomph to put down the hot chocolate and get off the couch. Providing ourselves with the incentives to not only get things done, but to be brave and have fun, could be just the motivation we need.


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Written By

Amy Orazio received her MFA in Creative Writing at Otis College of Art and Design, in Los Angeles. She lives in Portland now, where she is enjoying the cross section of finishing her poetry manuscript and writing for The American Genius.



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