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Oct 15

A More Creative Task List

by Michelle Santaferraro

Why should making task lists become a daily drudgery?

The other week I came across this inspiring, emotive ‘To Do’ list on the website 99u.com from a Medium blog written by author and entrepreneur, Robyn Scott. Scott wanted to make a habit of making one introduction a day to expand her network. In order to make that task exciting for herself, she added a category to her list, “Highly Helpful”. Adding one emotive category to her task list immediately elevated her mood “amidst the avalanche of hard work” that clogged her daily ‘To Do’s’.

“Simply connecting tasks with these two emotive words made such a big difference to my satisfaction that I began to wonder what would happen if I gave emotional characters to all my tasks,” writes Scott.

But, honestly, isn’t the idea of a more triumphant ‘to do’ list invigorating?

And in the spirit of making a new introduction, I would like to introduce to you my Robyn Scott inspired ‘To Do’ List:

Supremely Satisfying – These are items like an empty in-box, making a tricky phone call, or strategizing a new idea.

Feeling Accomplished – Picture the end of your week and what you would feel especially proud of bragging about to your spouse or friend. Then, put that on your list.

Extending Compassion – This category may include ideas like; listening to a struggling friend, offering to make a meal, running an errand on behalf of a friend in need, sending a thank you note, or simply taking the grocery cart back to the store front.

Recharging Refreshment – Going for a run, cycling with a friend, or taking the time to read a book; these are examples of self-care that’s bound to recharge.

Simple Indulgence – This may include buying a milkshake, taking a long walk, giving yourself time on the golf course, or an hour in the spa.

One Affirming Statement – We understand that what we think is what we believe. What we believe is how we act. For example, instead of saying “I’ll never get organized” you can change that to, “I am getting organized!” An affirming statement for time-management could be: “There is plenty of time to do the things that are most important to me.”

Sweet Victory – This is about taking one step that could move you towards a larger goal you have made for yourself. Maybe you will sign up for a class that takes you closer to your degree, or maybe you’ll just finally take that sewing class you’ve always wanted to take.

Step Back [holding a boundary] – This is where you list something that you need to stop doing. Having clear boundaries around what to say ‘yes’ to and what to say ‘no’ to helps us to take control of our lives. Is there something you have simply done out of obligation that can now drop off your list?

As author and entrepreneur Robyn Scott puts it, “seeing a task list littered with the promise of good feelings can start to shift deep, unhelpful emotions associated with the very idea of ‘tasks’”.

What will your list look like? I’d love to hear your feedback.

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