Write your To Dos as if someone else is going to do them. Take the time to put that extra explanatory detail in there – so instead of writing “Phone meeting Anne” on your list, write “Phone Anne to ask her for purchase order number”. The second takes longer to write but you come to the phone tomorrow and you are dialling immediately. The former is shorter but tomorrow you’re going to look at “Phone meeting Anne” and think, what’s that about? Is she phoning me or am I supposed to phone her? And you may well have to stop to think: hang on, which Anne?
I believe this, I do this, it works. Not everyone agrees.
1# Change a relatively boring list to something that can excite you
Since lists in their current state are declarative in nature, I first tackled changing the way I write them.
I found out that we’re more likely to read something if it has a question mark attached to it which led me to change the way I write tasks.
Let’s start with one of the most boring tasks that I know off, doing your laundry.
Instead of writing it like the mundane task it is i.e. as a declaration “- Do the laundry at 8 PM”, write it as a question or even a challenge! This will rub some extra flavor into it “Can you finish the laundry before 8:30 PM?” and will make sure you’ll tackle it.
Asking question stimulates our curiosity; curiosity is an engine that motivates us to explore and discover.
Haim Pekel wrote that on the IQ Tell productivity blog which I didn’t see and hadn’t heard of until Lifehacker spotted it yesterday. Lifehacker’s more pro this idea than I am, so do read the full piece on IQ Tell to see what you think.