To-Do Momentum

A big, fat list of tasks = overwhelming. Especially when the individual tasks are time-consuming, including at least a couple of actions before they can be marked as complete.

This means either to get yourself together and spend a big part of the day’s time being exceptionally productive or just binge-watch something and call it a day.

It’s often the latter. But this is not yet another guide on how to break down your tasks and hopefully have a better luck at completing them. This is something else. It’s more like doing first, then while doing, starting a list…

Here’s what happened…

Slow Saturday. An hour awake. YouTube’s not letting me out of bed. Lazy at its peak. Laptop violently closed. Screen almost broken (it wasn’t as I got worried and checked).

Quickly fixed the bed. Washed my face. Brushed my teeth. Opened the window for fresh air to fill the room. Reopened my computer and started a list:

First entry: Fix the bed; Second entry: Wash my face – things I’d already done. Checked them as done. Then added 2 more minor things: Take clean dishes out of the dishwasher, and Wipe the kitchen surfaces. Did these in another two minutes. In front of my computer again – wrote 3 more things…

So basically, I started by noting down things that were already done. Then I added a few easy tasks which took a minute each. Then as I completed each of these, I added a few more, very quick to do things, avoiding heavy stuff that would have easily exhausted me and killed the momentum.

After a while, I’d figured the apartment was all tidy + I had a whole list of tasks that I’d done in no time. I felt quite productive while it was not even noon yet.

I suddenly opened my regular to-do list – the one I use every day to add stuff that needs to be done. In fact, so much stuff needed to be done at that point that normally only thinking about it drained my energy causing me to instantly hit the close button. Surprisingly, the completion of so much in such a short time had energised me as well as empowered me to deal with it instead.

I picked a task and copied it to my new list – the one with all the things I’d already done. Then I did it. And because it was something I wanted to do for a very long time, I felt relief and got even more energised, completing more and more things from weeks ago.

After being exceptionally productive and looking at all the things that I’d done, I actually wanted to do more. Except, there were no more things to do. So I just decided to relax and finish that video on YouTube…

The Conclusion

Trying to focus on two or more things at the same time can overwhelm and paralyse, disabling you to do anything at all. But if you start simple and focus on what you are doing in the moment can build up a momentum that can be used to get you out of a situation with a massive to-do list.

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