Your Daily List of Desires
Tasks on a To-Do list can grow like the snakes on Medusa’s head. No one likes a To-Do list and yet we make them in attempt to keep our lives and our goals on track. But the thing about the To-Do list is that is becomes rather counter-productive as you check one item off and add four more. We begin to get the sense that, despite our best intentions, these lists don’t benefit us in any way except to remind us of how much we have to do and mostly how much we haven’t done.
Several years ago I wrote a post which suggested replacing the To-Do list with something that I considered a better idea – a Done list. That post received quite a nice reception so I thought I’d share the idea here again but with some refinements.
The Done list is basically a To-Do list in reverse. Throughout the day, you jot down the items you’ve accomplished. As I would look at my Done list, I might see days with wild productivity (good) or I might see days in which my productivity was not so great (bad). If days flew by without any worthwhile accomplishments, I knew I had to up-my-game and get busy. If I saw many days where productivity was high, I might take some time off to relax.
I like the idea of a Done list because it shows productivity as opposed to showing a never ending stream of work. It also shows me the activities where I am spending the bulk of my time and so I can make adjustments to achieve greater balance in my work flow. Seeing all those items (and yup, I even put check marks next to them to satisfy myself) DONE is really rewarding, I can tell you.
I still adhere to my Done list but over the last few months, I added a few embellishments. The notion of a Bullet Journal struck me as a nice way to further manage tasks that weren’t necessarily work related but hobbies and goals I wanted to keep track of during the month. Each month I’d create a graph of hobbies and I’d color in the day so that by the end of the month I could see my beautiful multicolored progress. Items on my bullet list include things such as yoga, meditation, photography, coloring, creative endeavors, walking, 30 minute tidy up, 20 minutes of sunshine, and whatever else happens to strike my fancy that month.
And yet, after all this time management tweaking and adjusting, I still in some way wanted to make friends with that nasty old To-Do list. It wasn’t until I began reading Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map that an idea occurred to me on how to create a To-Do that I didn’t actually hate.
LaPorte’s Desire Map focuses on meeting your goals and dreams by knowing how you actually want to feel! According to her website, Laporte writes:
“We have the procedures of achievement upside down. Typically we come up with our to-do lists, our bucket lists, and our strategic plans — all the stuff we want to have, get, accomplish, and experience outside of ourselves. All of those aspirations are being driven by an innate desire to feel a certain way.
What if, first, we got clear on how we actually wanted to feel in our life, and then we laid out our intentions? What if your most desired feelings consciously informed how you plan your day, your year, your career, your holidays — your life?”
So yeah, how about making a desire list? A daily list of several tasks that makes you feel great, and honors the creative and happy side of you. I like it!