Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Psychology of Accomplishment

I'm back from vacation last week and preparing for the annual She Speaks conference next week. 

There's about 20 things on my to-do schedule right now. 

If I focus on the twenty I feel overwhelmed and want to check out and watch a Doris Day movie where everything is sunny, pastel and cheerful. In my pajamas. With ice cream.

I can't afford to do that right now.

So I don't focus on the twenty, I just look at what's next. I do that one thing, and then that propels me to go ahead and knock the next thing off the list.

The Psychology of Accomplishment

When we finish a task, particularly an important task, we feel a surge of energy, enthusiasm and accomplishment. The more important the task, the happier and more powerful we feel following it's completion. (After natural childbirth I remember feeling like I could scale the walls Spiderman style.)

Those positive feelings can then be harnessed as fuel for tackling the next task. And this is precisely how I'm operating this week to plow through my to-do list.

Best-selling author Brian Tracy explains:

"The completion of an important task triggers the release of endorphins in your brain. These endorphins give you a natural high. The endorphin rush that follows successful completion of any task makes you feel more positive, personable, creative and confident."

Who couldn't use a little more confidence and creativity? 

Who couldn't stand to feel a little more positive and personable? (OK, who besides Doris Day?)

This phenomena is why managers tend to give important new tasks to their busiest, most productive employees. They not only have a proven track record of getting things done, but they have forward momentum behind them too.

Start the Momentum

So what are you waiting for? If it's still daylight out, close the screen or pop up from your seat and go get something done.

(If it's already dark, you can watch Doris Day and rest up for a productive morning tomorrow.)

"But you, take courage! Do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”

~ 2 Chronicles 15:7


  1. Rachel,

    This is a great post! It comes at a perfect time for me since just yesterday, I took a very serious look at my plate that overfloweth and started the process of prioritizing and then I was able to put that coveted check mark beside several things on my list.

    It's so easy to feel overwhelmed when we don't prioritize and tackle one thing at a time. But I love how my load feels lighter when I know I'm making progress.


    1. Amen to that - I'm tracking with you, Stephanie.

    2. AnonymousJuly 12, 2012

      Well, Ladies I am certainly tracking, and I have no time in my persoanl life for any man to distract me from it either! lol God is helping me get well, learn more, and I have been overwhelmed and making the list looked like scribble until I narrowed it down. I do not have half as much on my list as others do but I am in a time of transition. The transition itself is overwhelming, so thank you Rachel for the reminder to make a list and stick to the list. I am just getting lots of relationship questions lately and I am not interested at all. i am a 48 yr old widow with no interest in that distraction at all! So, glad I found you two here now...can you consider writing a blog on how to tell men to bug off nicely and assertively..whatever word i mean..:) ♥ Thank you both for your encouragement and educating me...♥ Dolores

    3. Hi Dolores. How to tell a guy to bug off nicely and yet assertively? Well you could try, "I'm flattered you are interested but I've taken a vow of Chastity." :)

      You'd probably get a deer in headlights look from him at that!

  2. Well, that explains it . . . I FINALLY stopped ignoring the grime accumulating on my wash cart in my laundry room yesterday and washed it down and the washer and dryer. And that led to cleaning the baseboards in all adjoining rooms! Whew! My brain was having endorphin overload : )

    1. Pam, I think you were high as a kite on endorphins! Or maybe that was from the cleaning fluid fumes. :)


      You can come do my baseboards anytime you need to get some endorphins flowing.


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