Just the other day I finished a task that was assigned to me in one of the software programs used by my team at work. After finishing each task the software plays a gif that has confetti exploding and I have to admit it makes me feel kind of good. The software we use is Monday dot com. Monday is project management software and uses project boards and to do lists. To do lists are powerful hacks that, when used properly make us very productive.
The reason that lists are considered a hack is because of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that the brain releases and makes us feel good. Dopamine helps move signals in our nervous system. A healthy happy person will have an appropriate level of dopamine in their body. When we cross off a list item and see confetti we trigger a dopamine release in our brains. Other ways to trigger the release of dopamine are, eating foods that are high in magnesium and tyrosine as well as engaging in healthy habits that make us happy like exercise meditation family time and petting a happy pet. Checking off things from a to do list is probably one of the closet things we can do at work that resembles petting a happy well behaved dog.
Besides dopamine, lists offer focus. So until we can bring our dogs to work I will stick with my to do list. No if they allow me I would bring in my four legged friend and keep the to do list.