A Week of Anti To-do List

Screenshot of my desktop with the ‘done’ list .txt files

Anti-thesis to To-do List

Rediscovering the ‘done’ list

What excited me

So back to the 3 insights:

  1. I belong to a very nerdy species of knowledge workers — who need to write to think. Peter Drucker cites that there are 3 types of people who use 3 different ways to learn. Learn by reading, speaking or writing. I belong to the third type. It almost felt intuitive to track my tasks, as akin to capturing my thoughts/ ideas.
  2. I got fed up with using apps, of any types, however great they might be. I have always used plain.txt sporadically to capture quotes, highlights, random thoughts and ideas. So Alt+TAB wasn’t a difficult task.
  3. Third and this is the most important one — I started procrastinating, despite moving to more relaxed, work-from-home enterpreneurial career path. This scared me — for I developed resistance, in spite of the freedom, luxury and lack of pressure, thereof to do a task/ project.

What benefitted me

  • I increasingly became calmer and more contained. Writing, by default, is a conscious rational endeavor. So the unwitting breaks to track a task, slowed my reactive mind and kept me on track.
  • Instead of channeling my energy into planning, I had more time and energy for actually doing stuff. Yes, I did occasionally step back to the ‘plan’ mode — but I did more to get a sense of big picture and direction. And I wasn’t doing it every other day or every 4th minute of the day. Yup! I was a planning freak, and done list relieved me of that pain.
  • My response time to my team, clients and others increased. It did fastpace the entire project at hand, it also created a sense of urgency among my team and projects to move towards completion/ closure.
  • Inevitably, the gap between thinking and execution reduced. I wasn’t thinking and analysing too much of what needs to be done. I was actually doing it. For instance, I already wrote 2 articles in the last 1 week and this is my third article.
  • It reduced my resistance for the work. As I was engaging with the work at hand, rather than just contemplating about it — which only increased my resistance to do it.
  • I recently added time-breaks (hourly basis) within my task tracking system. This helped me quickly see the volume of tasks I accomplished over a particular hour.

And the results…

hour-wise task tracking helped me visualize my accomplishments

All the best!

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Sathya @SathyaHQ

Sathya @SathyaHQ

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Work-from-home dad! Writer, Solopreneur. On a journey of personal growth & sustainable living. Subscribe to my newsletter — aurasky.substack.com