I’m trying out a new workflow that I hope leaves me less anxious and more fulfilled. It’s also part of my focus this year to do less and do it better.
Last year I finally landed on a consistent way of creating daily to-do lists. Before, I had tried ToDoist, Evernote, Asana, Notes, and a sticky notes board, without anything sticking for more than a couple of weeks.
The method I ended up sticking with ended up being a 25 cent college-ruled notebook. Writing and crossing to-dos off by hand makes them more tangible.
However, my Type-A tendencies were getting triggered when I made a to-do list. I would treat it like a workout, trying to get through everything as quickly as possible. If, at the end of the day, I hadn’t crossed off every to-do, I’d feel a twinge of anxiety or like I hadn’t done enough. (Yes, it is exhausting to be in my head sometimes.)
So this month, instead of writing down a to-do list to get through each day, I have a big backlog of to-dos in Evernote. I’ve divided each into very short-, short-, mid-, and long-term tasks.
When I’m ready for a task, I’ll refer to the backlog, focusing on the very short-term list and occasionally reviewing the others to make sure they’re up-to-date. Once I’m done with the task, I’ll write it down in my notebook (which also goes along with my goal of documenting more this year).
Picking off tasks one at a time allows me to give more attention and care to that task. Instead of constantly referring to a long list of things I have yet to do that day, focusing only on the immediate next step allows me to give that task the space it needs to properly get done.
At the end of the day, I have a list of everything I’ve accomplished, which leaves me feeling much more fulfilled. Only a few days in, I’m noticeably more relaxed, satisfied, and productive.
Which I hope allows me more time to write!
Also, new workspace who dis: