Why this four-letter word will help your productivity

Done is one of the best four-letter words out there. And this is coming from someone who loves using a few other four-letter words; you know, to express myself more fully. Sometimes, they just feel satisfying to say.

And “done” is in the same category when it comes to feeling good to say. It feels fantastic to say because it conveys completion – which is satisfying in its own right.

It turns out that using the word “done”, actually, affects the brain positively. Psychologist and neuroperformance specialist Leslie Sherlin says, “…the moment we say we are done with something, the electrical activity in our brain shifts from being activated and engaged into a more relaxed state…[and] that relaxed state looks very similar to meditators or individuals who practice mindfulness techniques.”

How’s that for incredibly cool?

One simple word, one appealing feeling.

Using the word done to describe work (or even conversations, relationships, meals, etc.) as finished is calming. It almost signals that you can rest, stop for a minute. And it is incredibly satisfying to be able to say you have completed something – even if that something is part of a whole, or a bigger picture.

And that is key.

Progress is an important component in getting things done. It matters. Done does not mean perfect or that no further work is needed. On the contrary, “done” can mean that you have made progress in completing something that helps your overall goal. And that is better than good enough.

It also keeps you more productive. Because that feeling of accomplishment is very appealing, you usually want to duplicate it. As you keep completing and being “done” with the parts and make progress, you are propelled almost to work towards that next level of done-ness and satisfaction.

And let’s face it, we are all looking to feel accomplished, and proud of the work we have completed.

Done is a great four-letter word that propels you to do more

This idea of being done with small parts, feeling good, and being more productive in moving on to do more applies to getting organized, or getting in shape, or anything you feel is important in creating a life you love. The tasks for those goals as a whole are big. They can be daunting.

When you can find ways to be “done” with parts, however small, the “whole” starts to feel do-able. Possible.

In fact, creating a life you love life is about all the small things you do that make up the whole.

When you take on too much all at once you feel tired, overwhelmed, and you start to lack desire to do anything at all.  I mean if you were asked to eat an elephant it would be quite a feat to accomplish as one task. You can imagine how unappealing and daunting it would feel. Like any large task, the best way to tackle it would be to do so one.bite.at.a.time. Which makes sense if you want to make any progress at all.

The quickest way to get nothing done is to try to eat the elephant whole.

Here are a few ways to get yourself using the word “done” more often and increase your productivity (and pride) in the process:

1. Start small.

Remember how you eat an elephant. Getting something small done is better than spinning your wheels and making no recognizable progress at all. When you break down any large, daunting tasks into smaller parts you can utter the word done more often which keeps the cycle of satisfaction and accomplishment going and going. When things look and feel do-able they feel less overwhelming. They feel possible and therefore more appealing to start. Starting is important. Starting small is imperative.

2. Track your progress.

Whether it is a list or a journal, track what you have completed. Keep note of it. When you keep track of what you have done, you boost your esteem. In fact, when you can see the tasks you have completed, you see the next tasks needed to complete the whole as more do-able. {Which they are, of course.} Keep track of how far you have come. And use it to give you a sense of satisfaction like no other to keep moving on.

3. Reward yourself.

Give yourself a pat on the back or an “atta-girl/boy” for getting something done. Go to a movie, take a break, call a friend. Do something that allows you to really embrace the feeling of done and be proud of what you have accomplished. Rewards go a long way. It doesn’t matter how small the task is that you have completed. When you are done with it, you are done. It an accomplishment and it is reason to celebrate. And it just so happens that it encourages you to be more productive.

Instead of thinking that you are only done when you’ve reached the end of a big, daunting goal you have set for yourself, think small. Be aware of every step you take towards making progress. And be proud for all you have accomplished.

No doubt it will uplift you, and move you to get more done.

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