How Completing One Small Task Can Really Help You Feel Better

Spotify came out with the ability to create folders to organize your music around the middle of 2019 (I’m very much estimating here, so do not go by my word). By any means, it became extremely popular to create folders for your music around the end of 2019, which was exactly when I stumbled upon the option. I have at least 100 playlists in my Spotify library, between the monthly ones I have created myself and those I saved from others, and I was sick of scrolling through all 100 of them to find the one I was looking for. However, it takes time to organize every single playlist into a folder, and I soon gave up on the project. When COVID-19 hit, I had a renewed interest in finally completing this endeavor, and again, I quit halfway through the year because it was just too much time and effort. Last week, I finally completed this project that I started a year and a half ago, and it felt like a giant weight was removed from my shoulders. 

It may seem like we are living in an age of monotony, where we wake up every morning, read the daily headlines, mindlessly scroll through Twitter for a bit, go to class (or work, or WFH) and then head back to our caves at night to stay up late binging iCarly on Netflix for the third time this week. It can be extremely hard to pick something up and stay with it, especially when nothing else is the same as it used to be and set schedules are nonexistent (I don’t even know my own class schedule and I signed up for it). If you have things to do, it takes a great endeavor to go about completing it, even when everything else is “normal.” In a pandemic, with limited social interaction, it’s even harder, but that is just what makes the achievement so much more worth it. 

In the world of psychology, the brain can actually be tricked into being more motivated, which would lead said person to accomplish more in the long run. Psychological studies have found that if you change your environment or set small goals in the lead-up to the one big one, you have a greater chance of achieving whatever goals you set for yourself. In the case of something as simple as cleaning your room, you can set smaller goals, such as cleaning off your desk or cleaning out your closet, and achieve each of those in turn—you don’t have to just clean everything up at once. In my case, I took smaller sections of each group of playlists (by year, for example) and put them all together, instead of just sorting all fo them at one time. Fun fact: I actually use the smaller sections approach when I clean my room, as it makes it easier for me to focus on exactly what I’m cleaning out in a specific section, and it helps me feel accomplished when that part is done.

It’s not easy to finally finish that project that’s been standing in front of you for so long, and I will be the first to admit that sometimes things take a lot longer than you plan for them to. However, it is the best feeling in the world when you finally finish and can sit back and relax without the project hanging over your head anymore (I literally felt a weight lift from my shoulders). I hope that this little piece of advice is enough to help you finish whatever projects are left on your to-do list and to conquer the rest of 2021! 

*Edited by: Alicia Tebeau-Sherry.