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Conquer Challenges to Feel the Rewards

A happy father is playing blocks with his son on the wooden floor.

How can you create a cycle of productivity?

During your brain's prime time, focus on deeper thinking and tasks that build toward long-term goals. Save tasks that do not require much thought (even essential ones) for other times of day.


Higher-order thinking releases dopamine in the brain – igniting the brain's reward network and feelings of accomplishment. While checking off mindless tasks can deliver a small dose of dopamine, challenging tasks can offer a bigger feeling of reward and motivate continued progress toward long-term goals.


  • Determine which tasks on your to-do list are cognitively challenging and which can be done on autopilot.
  • Dedicate times of day when your do your best thinking to tasks that require higher-level thinking.
  • Break down long-term goals into smaller tasks, and creating actionable steps for your to-do list.
  • Journal about your daily accomplishments or your feelings with a friend.

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