A Healthy To-Do List may be a new idea for you. We are all familiar with daily to-do lists and their value when increasing productivity and meeting deadlines.

A Healthy To-Do list means you include in your daily task list items that keep you healthy – mentally, emotionally, and physically. You include tasks that you want to do, not just those you have to do or should do.

Everyone knows why you need a bank account from which you make deposits and withdrawals of money. We are not as familiar with a human energy bank account where you make deposits and withdrawals. The energy bank account must be protected in order to complete a daily task list and find satisfaction with life.

A human energy bank account is one where you make daily deposits that build mental, emotional, and physical health. If a personal energy bank account gets low or is depleted, mental, emotional, and physical fatigue is experienced. Fatigue can be expressed in different ways: low energy or feeling drained. Unfortunately, others in the office may describe it as laziness or lacking motivation. However it is described, it is different from being tired and sleepy.

Fatigue robs you of mental alertness, good judgment, situational awareness, the ability to make decisions. It can even rob you of the stamina to finish simple tasks.

In addition to lack of motivation, mental fatigue can cause mood swings and doubt about personal competence. It also causes you to withdraw from others, feeling you don’t belong.

Emotional fatigue is different than mental fatigue and is related to your ability to control your emotions and avoid lashing out with impatience, annoyance, or even anger. (Study more at https://discoveryplace.info/the-difference-between-mental-and-emotional-health)

A personal energy bank account is built with a Healthy To-Do List. Here are four Healthy To-Do List ideas.

Healthy To-Do List #1 – Plan and Prioritize Your Day – the night before. I use the acronym COED or Close Out Every Day. This discipline makes deposits into the energy bank account by giving you confidence that you can check off necessary tasks to keep you on top of your projects and assignments. You have a plausible way of completing them by the deadline. During COED time, you are gathering resources you need to carry out the many tasks that must be completed tomorrow. You are analyzing how much time it should take you to complete each individual task and evaluating if you need information from a team member or colleague.  

Planning your day the night before also aids better sleep because you know you are organized for tomorrow. Another benefit is that difficult decisions can “cook” in the back of your mind. You’ll wake up with new ideas on how to solve the problem.

Healthy To-Do List #2 – Exercise. We don’t exercise to look like super thin models or the bulging muscle man who has been lifting weights consistently. We exercise because it combats disease and helps control weight. With appropriate exercise, all bodily systems work more efficiently. Brain alertness increases and your mood gets a positive boost.  

You may not have time for a workout on your Peloton every day, but old-fashioned calisthenics dating back to ancient Greece still work. A few sit ups, pushups, squats, or jumping jacks may do wonders for your physical and mental energy bank account, not to mention toning your muscles and making your body look better. (See https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/calisthenics for a workout.)

Healthy To-Do List #3 – Time Outs. Time-outs are not just for unruly children or discombobulated athletic teams. They work for adults as well meaning that when you have worked for an hour on a complex task, the brain experiences exhaustion and fatigue. You have spent an hour making withdrawals from your energy bank account. A good amount of mental energy is consumed when problem solving, thinking creatively, or analyzing a way forward. If you ever tried to do your own income tax return you can probably remember how much your mental energy was zapped.

When you are mentally exhausted, pause from the task. Get up from you chair and stretch, take a walk even if it is just down the hall. Hydrate your body and eat a healthy snack. Spending a few minutes chitchatting with a colleague or team member can help you rejuvenate from mental exhaustion.

A unique idea is to change the room where you are working as you head back from your time out to the difficult tasks waiting on completion.

Healthy To-Do List #4 – Positive Emotions. A Healthy To-Do List requires a positive mindset. It also requires that you be present – that you live in the moment, not in the “shoulda coulda” past or the wishful perfect future.

Another aspect of positive emotions is to accept that you are human with incredible strengths and some limitations. You will make mistakes but dissolve the negative emotion by relabeling what happened as a learning experience.

Positive emotions include a feeling of gratitude for the positive things that happen throughout the day and can distance you from the flood of negative emotions and feelings of depression that can occupy your mind.

The last tip for positive emotions: Add meditation and contemplation to your to-do list to calm your mind.

All four of these “Healthy” To-Do List tasks build your personal energy bank account and when you need to make a withdrawal on days when you are not at your best (for women this could be a bad hair day), you still have enough deposits to outweigh the withdrawals. You have the energy to make it through a tough day.

Join me for more tips and techniques on February 9 for a complimentary 30-minute webinar titled Why Not “ME” In 2023. It will be at 12:00 Noon. If you are on the East Coast, make it a Lunch and Learn. Register at: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/23/140xzir

Can’t attend live? You’ll receive a replay link.

#professionaldevelopment #success #newyeargoals #achievegoals #takecareofyourself #mentalhealth #physicalhealth

About Karla

Karla Brandau is the author of How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort, a 21st century leadership book. She is a thought leader on how to create a culture in your organization that enables employees to give discretionary effort on a regular basis.

She is the CEO of Brandau Power Institute, a management consulting firm with expertise in 4-quadrant personalities, emotional intelligence, strengthening the touch points between managers and employees, and increasing the productivity of work teams.

Her clients include corporations such as Coca-Cola Enterprises and Panasonic as well government agencies including the EPA, NIH, and the FDA. 

She is a keynote speaker and a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an earned designation given by National Speakers Association. Other designations she has earned are Certified Facilitator and Registered Corporate Coach.

Cell: 770-329-1806 | Office: 770-923-0883



We'd love to speak with you directly. Call 770-923-0883 or fill out the form below and we'll connect very soon.