I am a person who lives and dies by her to-do list. And right now, I'm dying.

I'm dying because I am following all the prescribed rules except one.

Here are things I'm doing well:

1. I clear my inbox. I deal with each email the second I read it—by responding, deleting, or transferring to my to do list.

2. I have a single list. I have A's, B's, and C's for my priorities, so I can tell what is most important to do on any given day.

3. I make sure I have long-term goals. And I put them in my list of A's. I identify the items I must get done before the end of the day. But I also add at least one non-deadline-based item that helps me reach a bigger, life-changing goal.

4. I rewrite the list every day by hand. Because if something on the list is not worth taking the time to rewrite by hand, it's not worth taking the time to do.

5. I make sure I get all the A's done first. Only then do I move on to less important items. Just kidding. I don't do this. But I should. Honestly, I can tell that it doesn't really matter if I follow all the other rules when I'm not doing this one.

There's a book by Michael Stainer titled, Do More Great Work: Stop the Busywork. Start the Work That Matters. I know I have a problem sticking to stuff that matters: as soon as I typed the title, I thought, “Why is the word that capitalized?” I checked back on Amazon twice to make sure. It doesn't seem right to me.

Then I tell myself I need to look up the AP Stylebook to see what the rule is. I think the is never capitalized in a title and that is optional, but I think, in this case, it looks better as lower case.

Then I tell myself, look, I just really need to get this post done. If I look up the AP Stylebook, and find an answer, which is probably not going to be easy to find because honestly, I'm not the queen of Google searches. Even if I manage to do that, I will not feel like I have accomplished something important today. But if I finish this post, I will feel like I am meeting an important goal of writing a post each day.

Also, I tell myself that the best work I do is when I am not constantly distracted by randomly interesting searches. Like, the last time I remember doing this was, in fact, last night, when I got stuck looking up soporific. It means sleep inducing. But I thought maybe I was missing a nuance of the word because it was in a picture caption in a movie review. Who puts a word like that in a picture caption? So I thought it had another slang meaning or something. And then, when it turns out that it really does mean sleep inducing I didn't feel accomplished. It was not on my to-do list. And I can't even figure out how to slip it into my own writing. Unless you find my paragraph about soporific to be soporific.

Stainer’s book has a chapter written by me. Which, I'm sure I wrote only because I put it on my A list 400 days in a row, sending it to him, finally, ten days late. Or something like that. And he has chapters by other luminaries who I am convinced do their A list before they even eat breakfast: Seth Godin, Chris Guillebeau, Leo Babauta. The important thing about reading a book like Stainer’s is that if I read people telling me that I should not do bullshit work all day, then I am more likely to hold myself accountable to my A list.

This problem comes down to my struggle with self-discipline. I think everyone struggles. I think there's a Maslow hierarchy of self-discipline. First you have to get out of bed in the morning. Then you have to write a to-do list every morning, and write a schedule to accommodate it. Then you have to have the self-discipline to start giving stuff up because you don't have time for everything — the highest form of self-discipline is admitting that you will not be doing some things in the day.

I have done all that. So what I'm left with is stuff that is easy to do. But it's usually B's. And some stuff that's hard to do. Those are the A's. Today I told myself no surfing. No staring at the wall. No reading my book. (I’m reading Bonk, by the way, which is scintillating, and thank you to Jens Fiederer who recommended the chapter about pig orgasms that last ten minutes.)

But then I saw a GChat link from Michael Roston about the Dutch parliament. I had to click. It turns out that there is a group trying to make sex with twelve-year-olds legal. So they formed a political party in order to get the laws changed. But the group dropped out of the election because they found they are spending so much time campaigning that they are losing focus of their main goal, which is to legalize pedophilia.

And I thought: Dutch pedophiles are more focused on their long-term goals than I am.

My problem is that I cannot write my own long-term goal in as clear a way as the pedophiles. I coach so many people who tell me they can't move forward because they don't know where they are going. And I tell them, make something up. I tell them to commit to a goal, any goal, and move toward it until you think of a better one. The act of moving toward something helps you crystallize where, exactly, you want to be moving.

I wish I could tell you I’m doing that, but recently I’ve been writing about it more than doing it. Because I'm scared. It's so scary to commit to a goal when you know it's not the real goal. Success requires a leap of faith that goal setting is trial and error and the process of finding clarity — not the one-time process of immaculate conception of clarity.

When I was learning about to do lists, each step seemed too hard. And empty in box seemed impossible. Handwriting a to do list every morning felt absurd. But in each case, after I did it a while, it felt right and probably essential to me. So I guess I will just have to trust that if I force myself to choose a goal, my goals will get more and more clear, and the productivity piece will start falling into place.

161 replies
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  1. Deborah
    Deborah says:

    P – What kind of notebook or paper do you use for this daily updating by hand? Do yo keep an ongoing record in a notebok or a new sheet of paper everyday? Thx, d

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I love that you realize I have put a lot of thought into this decision. I use graph paper. I like the orderliness of it. And I like how smooth it is.

      Graph paper + a Sharpie: Yum.

      -Penelope

      • Elizabeth
        Elizabeth says:

        There are many reasons that I love you in a I’ve-never-met-you-and-only-randomly-post-stuff-on-your-blog way. Your use of graph paper has just been added to the list.

  2. Brett Kunsch
    Brett Kunsch says:

    One thing I’ve found really helpful is 10 minutes of silence in my mornings. Yeah, I know it conflicts with maximization of time for most, but in the end, it’s a lot better than reading the random email or staring at your hands in awe of your motor functions. In all seriousness, it has given me much more clarity than I ever realized I could achieve. Giving oneself silence – not just outside silence, but INNER silence, is a true gift that can get you on the path to getting what you want most out of life. The hard part is showing yourself how 10 minutes spent in utter silence is better for you than reading a tempting article on Dutch pedophiles. The key, like anything in life, is persistence. Doing it just once won’t do the trick, and doing it even a dozen times may not do it either. But regular practice can bring you that inner peace you need to truly GET STUFF DONE that matters most.

  3. Perle Champion
    Perle Champion says:

    Thanks. Some useful input – Like the ABC categories, I think it would give me more focus. I don’t waste time rewriting list everyday for the sake of rewriting. I only rewrite my ToDo’s when I run out of lines on a page and/or Monday.(hand write, although I put task prompts in my google calendar and task list) ToDo’s are written in blue or black and checked off w/date in red or purple.

    I get side-tracked, too. I’ve been limiting my net time most days to one hour in the morning then I literally turn off my dsl, and get to work either writing, or in the studio painting. Only after checking of several ToDo’s do I turn dsl back on and deal with e-mails, fb, twitter, and any research I’ve added to my list.

    Thanks
    ps I found you through Lynne Spreen’s FB post this morning.

  4. ioana
    ioana says:

    Well I was going to print this out and post it for myself on my cubicle wall, when I ran into the Dutch party of I can’t even say it.

    Anyway, great post! Thanks! I need that, the list and the classifications of A B and C’s.

  5. Steve Errey - The Confidence Guy
    Steve Errey - The Confidence Guy says:

    Gah, I kinda hate this focus on “personal productivity”. Who said we have to do everything ultra-efficiently or have our inboxes organised to within an inch of their lives?

    It’s what works for you, of course, but too much time is spent on organising things (or planning about how to organise them) that we lose time on doing and being things.

    That’s part of why I don’t set goals with my clients too – because they don’t work. It’s hard to engage with a goal on a daily basis when you don’t believe it’s the right thing or think that you won’t follow through.

    Productivity and goals often get in the way of being productive and achieving meaningful progress.

  6. Joanne
    Joanne says:

    If you find yourself deviating so much from your A tasks then maybe you are not doing what you love?

    I have motivational issues when I am doing tedious things but when I am doing my work that I love, I have no problems.

    • Brett Kunsch
      Brett Kunsch says:

      Joanne you’re absolutely right. “A” tasks can many times be seen as those things most urgent to get done, but they’re not necessarily the most important (aka contributing to the thing you love to do and be).

      Most often, we avoid the tasks that are important to do the things that are urgent, letting the important things build up and never get completed. This seems to be a common symptom of our online universe that’s constantly pushing things in front of us that give us that sense of urgency to read, respond, research, get your mind tangled, and utterly sidetracked. I like the idea of keeping distractions to a minimum and preparing a quiet space to work in (offline, if only for a little while).

  7. Margaret G.
    Margaret G. says:

    You once linked Seth Godin’s book What Matters Now and of all the essays submitted by various authors (including you!), the one by Gina Trapani on productivity stuck with me the most:

    Getting things done is not the same as making
    things happen.
    You can…
    …reply to email.
    …pay the bills.
    …cross off to-do's.
    …fulfill your obligation.
    …repeat what you heard.
    …go with the flow.
    …anticipate roadblocks.
    …aim for "good enough."
    Or you can…
    …organize a community.
    …take a risk.
    …set ambitious goals.
    …give more than you take.
    …change perceptions.
    …forge a new path.
    …create possibility.
    …demand excellence.
    Don't worry too much about getting things
    done.
    Make things happen.

    I have to look at it every so often, especially these days, because it's a reminder that I want to do more than get things done. To Do lists are hard; it's true and I struggle with mine every day. But this quotation reminds me that they are just a small part of life and that if I get them under control, I can focus on bigger things.
    That said, I am still stuck on cleaning out my inbox. Kudos that you’ve got yours under control.

  8. s
    s says:

    Amazing post Penelope,

    I am also a person who love to write “to do list” however the problem I faced was that I had to many to do lists (one on my calendar one on a piece of paper…) the result was that I was doing only half the things I had written on my to do list. I was feeling guilty because I had planned those tasks and I lacked the motivation to do them…

    Personally I think that when you are writing your to do list by hand you feel more connected to the tasks you have to do. You kinda implicate your whole body in it…

    I never thought of rewriting my to do list every day I am going to give it a try.

    anyway I love your blog and your posts are a constant inspiration for me

    Thank you

    sylvain

    p.s. I want to apologize for mistakes I may have made in my comment french is my mother tongue.

  9. Jonha @Happiness
    Jonha @Happiness says:

    Your thoughts are definitely scintillating and I am so amazed as to how you can crystal clearly point out the thoughts that we all have about having goals and how we get so frustrated about not going anywhere its accomplishment. I usually lose focus by little interesting things such as browsing, links to books, etc.”I force myself to choose a goal, my goals will get more and more clear, and the productivity piece will start falling into place.” I would might as well do this.

  10. Forest
    Forest says:

    I have not tried the abc list method, just the one long list and I am equally as good as you at getting distracted!

    As always your post had me laughing out loud :)

  11. TwistedByKnaves
    TwistedByKnaves says:

    Penny,

    Nice post, as ever.

    Focusing like a laser beam on what is important, it’s “Stanier”.

    And if you’re seriously stuck, you might like to try his original, off the wall self coaching pack called “Get Unstuck and Get Going”.

    On Autofocus (Hi, Jacqueline!), one of the key concepts is that you let the process tell you what your real priorities are. Which seems a bit weird, but works for some.

    I’m not convinced about coding your tasks A B C and working on the A’s first. Most of us would never get around to the Cs, so why put them on the list in the first place? And yet they do often need to get done some time…

    You can use your list to help with procrastination. If you write “check link to Dutch Parliament” on your list, you have satisfied your inner lizard (a bit) and may be able to carry on with your Great Work. As you can see from the timestamp, this doesn’t always work for me…

    And btw, getting out of bed is itself a battle against procrastination. “OK: we’re not going bother about getting up just yet, then: let’s just put our left foot on the floor…”.

  12. betty in munich
    betty in munich says:

    Fun post today it had me smiling. From sleep inducing to self discipline all in the same post! So a bit off topic, but word is out that Sony/Columbia Pictures has optioned Pioneer Woman’s book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels”. It most likely will be rated G.

    How about your book/movie deal – “The Farmer, Me and Ryan” rated PG-13 perhaps?

  13. Teresa R. Jones
    Teresa R. Jones says:

    I arise in the morning and thank God that all is well.
    After taking time for mediation and prayer that old song begins to play.

    The reason I know it is old because the same song has been playing for almost two decades.

  14. Umkhonto Labour
    Umkhonto Labour says:

    You sure do not pull any punches, Penelope! Your honesty is refreshing. I myself get lost in the finer details that actually means very little in the greater scheme of things, and only serves to gobble up my productive time. Learning to manage this aspect of my being has been a huge challenge, and one that constantly has to be worked on. Almost as bad as my sugar addiction, but that is another story.

    Have a great weekend, bye now!

  15. Will
    Will says:

    Mine is slightly different.

    I check mails flagged high importance throughout the day.

    For the others, when I have a spare half hour:
    1. Move everything from the inbox to “PROCESS TODAY” Folder (which is sorted by conversation)
    2. Go through the conversations, dragging anything that needs action, including further consideration, to my todo list.
    3. Move the contents of my “PROCESS TODAY” folder to my “Reference” folder.

    As long as I can resist actually diving into working any of the actions as I go through, I can cover half a day’s mail (about 50, for me) in a few minutes. But if I weaken, as I usually do, and just dash off a two minute response… I am lost.

  16. Marsha Keeffer
    Marsha Keeffer says:

    Sometimes I take on serial goals. The goal I set will change and morph – I know that in advance and allow for it so that I can get some movement.

    I draw the circle again (and again and again, in some cases), and get closer to the thing that’s frightening or off-putting.

    Finally, I get there. Bit of a roundabout, but it works for me.

  17. Denise Milani
    Denise Milani says:

    I have no idea how anybody can be productive in life and get anything done without working off a list. Anytime I get overwhelmed (and many times even if I’m not), I sit down and spend 5 minutes making a list of things I need to get done, and 1 minute prioritizing it.

  18. Mike Cook
    Mike Cook says:

    What if when I die all I have ever done was make sure the people I love knew they were loved. Maybe this life is not about me, maybe,what, yes, I thought the Dutch pedophile comment was funny too.

  19. Ross Fattori
    Ross Fattori says:

    Writing lists is essential to getting anything done. It keeps you on track. But don’t underestimate time spent daydreaming or surfing. Sometimes the best ideas are triggered when you are staring at a wall or surfing the Internet, when your mind is dis-engaged.

  20. J
    J says:

    Hmm, I think the fact we’re even having this conversation (webversation?) suggests we have a certain level of autonomy in our days, and so get to choose what we do, the order we do it in, whether we do it at all!

    I couldn’t work without a list – if I don’t put things on it, I forget them, they get stuck in my inbox. I’m a lawyer, so what I do to a large extent is support other people in their work. This can be frustrating, and I often get caught up in urgent things that aren’t as important as some of the less urgent things. Or aren’t as interesting!

    I’m challenged by what you write, Penelope, about the longer term goals. I think I need to work into my list, some things for me, for my professional development, for my career goals. Not just drafting another boring agreement that my inhouse clients won’t appreciate :-)

  21. Jake
    Jake says:

    Hey Penelope. You just reminded me about my procrastination problem. When I’m working, I always tell myself “Don’t do it” – that is to open any other websites. I already deleted some of my bookmarks in my browser so that I won’t be tempted to open them. But when I get really bored, I give in. Then with your post, I realized that there are other small things that I procrastinate on. Like when I research for something, I tend to dwell on it too much (out of curiousity). Then my attention gets diverted as I go deeper.lol Now I need to make a to-do list as well and put a time frame for each task. Thanks for the reminder.

  22. prklypr
    prklypr says:

    Dutch pedophiles are more focused on their long term goals than you are? ALL pedophiles are more focused on their long term goals, since they only really have one goal and procrastination is not an issue.
    Assuming you have more long term goals, you have to spread your focus around more, and have more things to procrastinate about. Not really a fair comparison, even if it was written {I’m hoping} tongue-in-cheek.

  23. Rod McLeod
    Rod McLeod says:

    “5. I make sure I get all the A's done first. Only then do I move on to less important items. Just kidding. I don't do this. But I should. Honestly, I can tell that it doesn't really matter if I follow all the other rules when I'm not doing this one.”

    I think that’s the key to it all. Not much point in having B’s and C’s if one doesn’t follow through on completing the A’s.

    The routine I follow is certain tasks are done on a daily basis…these are all A’s in my scheme.

    B’s are the non-daily tasks that take priority at this point in time…new projects for an example.

    C’s are non-essential tasks.

  24. Lane Ellen
    Lane Ellen says:

    I am a CHRONIC list maker, and CHRONIC list-destroyer. I love to schedule myself, and then habitually ignore the entirety of the schedule. This, as you can imagine, causes problems. It is the paradox I live with: high self-expectation of accomplishment, low motivation or self-discipline to follow through.

    I recently noticed two things that have helped me get a little past this: I don’t ignore things that are connected to the expectations of other people and I don’t think of right now – I always think of what’s coming up.

    If something is connected to other people (anyone. Family, friends, lover, etc.) I follow through to the best of my ability. I undermine nearly anything *I* may have to do to accomplish it. If I’ve committed to it, I am there with bells on. So, in tiny ways, I try to connect things to other people’s expectations. As in, “If I don’t work on this thing right now, it will cut into my time to fulfill this thing I promised.” Doesn’t always work, but I’m having more success with it.

    The other thing- the forward looking issue – is more about self-discipline, which you indicated is probably the main issue anyway. I have been trying to remember that I have THIS MOMENT, right now. I can take this moment and strike something off my list, or I can waste this moment thinking about when I will do things. This has also helped a little. It cuts back on the whirlygig of Stuff To Do ™ on high speed in my brain.

  25. Tom
    Tom says:

    Very nice post. I myself have been using “to-do lists”. I have never thought of making an A, B, C category though. That probably explain why I usually ran out of paper in my organizer. I will definitely start to make priorities of my to-do list. You idea is a very good idea.

  26. Joanna Benz
    Joanna Benz says:

    I am enjoying reading about your journey, and it reminds me of myself in many ways. It’s so easy to focus on the logical, and then wonder why the heck we can’t seem to keep up with it all.

    One of the problems with being too logical is that, when we look at the todo list, we see all the things WE ARE NOT DOING right now. In other words, we focus on the negative.

    We must find some BALANCE, especially if we are creative types. One thing that helps me is taking 10 minutes in the morning to meditate and get out of my head completely. Another thing that really works is putting up a picture on the wall to represent my desired outcome. Then I just turn things over to God, and let HIM do the work! Delegate it!

    This may seem like a Pollyanna solution. But stop and think about it for a moment… You are what you think. You can do anything you want. They say, “If you really want something done, give it to a busy person.” Why? Because that person has a vision. When you give her a task, she doesn’t fret about it. She sees it as already done in her mind. Therefore, it does not require much effort at all. Piece o’ cake.

    As far as my todo list, yes I also have a loooong one. But I only pick out 1 or 2 things a day to accomplish. And if I don’t get them done, they just stay on my list for the following day. Stressing and worrying about it all doesn’t seem to get it done any faster…

    Being disabled has really taught me a lot about accepting my limitations and overcoming excessive logic. And I am learning more all the time about counting my blessings, too. Peace be with you!

  27. clive jones
    clive jones says:

    Simply is what life should be why have a,b,c they all need attention,if they are meaning less then get rid .i dont see the point of going backwards and forwards when all questions ,emails,views need to be sorted at the time they arrive,Why make work answer each one in its own merit and then they are done with.

  28. Andy Brown
    Andy Brown says:

    Thanks for the list, I need to follow a little plan as its so easy to get sidetracked. its so much better when you can just tick something of a todo list and move on. thanks.

  29. Tyler
    Tyler says:

    Just to throw this in the mix…

    I think it’s a great idea using the A, B, C’s of what’s most important and getting those tasks completed first.

    Might I also suggest using Pareto’s Law. You know…20% of what you do gets you 80% of your results.

    Concentrate on being productive. Keeping busy is one thing, but if you’re doing something irrelevant just for the sake of being busy, how productive are you really being?

  30. Tom Dwyer
    Tom Dwyer says:

    As the old saying goes – “No one ever plans to fail they just fail to plan.” Which is what I think To-Do lists are – your daily “success” plan. Don’t get me wrong, I fail many times at simply completing even my top priority list items some days but as you said sometimes just having a goal – any goal – leads you to the real goal you need to accomplish.

    Even with my To-Do lists, my biggest issue is trying not to get distracted from that list. Whether it be clients, family or my wondering mind, staying on task is my biggest challenge.

    Tom

  31. Brigitte
    Brigitte says:

    I found this post, read it, and then looked over to my right. There it was, the list of dead I call it, otherwise knows as my to do list. I found your tips very interesting and will try to implement a few things. Especially putting a mark next to the ones that need to be done that day will be very helpfull.

  32. Jonha
    Jonha says:

    Penelope, (Note: I couldn’t post this comment on your latest post so I am posting it here, you’ll read it anyway)

    At last, you’re getting married to the farmer! I think it’s pretty exciting and well saddening at the same time because you won’t be posting much. Arrrghh! And yes, pink improves everything. Even guys love it. That’s pretty much I can say right now, I’m stoked about you getting married. I’ve been looking forward for this, because I know this will make you happy.

  33. AC
    AC says:

    I’ve never been busy in my life until I started this new job. I was all over the place. My boss n manager noticed that I’m too much of a perfectionist n end up not getting anything done but I wasn’t slacking. My boss gave a good metaphor: Dinner’s at 7 n the food has to be on the table at that time. If u wanna make a Martha Stewart kind of stew that takes 2 days go ahead, but don’t starve us, or whip up a quick pasta.

  34. dianaswan
    dianaswan says:

    It’s funny that you had this post. I just finished writing out my to-do list for today (I have one of those daily calendars you rip a page off for everyday… I use the backs of the previous day). I used to type it out in Outlook on my to-do list but it wasn’t very mobile, and I found I didn’t get everything done. I find it quite satisfying to cross stuff out and gets me motivated to accomplish more. One big thing for me was I don’t always finish my list so I HAVE to make sure I put my previous days stuff at the top of them current days… and actually do it!

  35. Roger McLeskey
    Roger McLeskey says:

    I to live by a list every day. I don’t go to the extremes (although I should) I do enjoy organization.
    The problem is, our heads are like computers. They get clogged up with day-to-day stuff. Eventually they need re-booted. Like the computer occasionally needs rebooted, so do our heads. It’s up to everyone to find their own reboot method. A vacation, a good drunk, an overnighter to the beach, good sex, whatever it is. Find it, do it!

  36. Joy Anderson
    Joy Anderson says:

    When I have so much stuff in my head to do, I love to just write it all out on paper, every thing I can possibly think of. Then I use different color markers to group tasks by circling them using the colors. Then I chunk my tasks. It works really well and I recommend it to anyone if they want to be more productive.

  37. Christine
    Christine says:

    You have my full support in your list because it is very significant and profound for your readers. I also keep important notes on what I need to do about my daily priorities because for me time is precious and not have to waste it.

  38. Alex Flynn
    Alex Flynn says:

    I have never been an organized person which is very unhelpful especially when your trying to set up an internet business. I have been looking for a plan to help me stayed organized all day and I think your article has just ended my search, Thanks!!

    Alex

  39. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    When you mentioned self-discipline – that really hit home. I know that’s my problem. I know I allow myself to be distracted by interesting searches, etc. – and that I shouldn’t let this happen. I know what I should be giving my time and attention to but I give it to other things anyway. So I will take away two ideas that you give that I really think will help – daily prioritized to-do lists with time scheduled, and writing down a goal. This reminds me of ideas in the book The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People. You have to keep asking yourself if what you are doing is moving you towards your goal or not – if it’s not, then you shouldn’t be doing it.
    Thanks for these thoughts. I want to save this and come back to it again.

  40. Wal Heinrich
    Wal Heinrich says:

    One of my millionaire friends told me recently that when she has to do list issues she takes a leaf out of Alice in Wonderland and thinks of impossible things she would like to do. She says it totally changes her perspective and gives her a new set of creative ideas to motivate her.

    “Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
    “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
    Alice in Wonderland.

  41. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline says:

    I’ve been experimenting lately with some methods to get yourself working on stuff you’ve been putting off. One of those methods is described in Mark Forster’s book “Get Everything Done and Still Have Time to Play”. Here’s the essence of the method, which is called timed bursts:
    http://www.markforster.net/blog/2008/10/15/how-to-crack-a-difficult-task.html
    And here’s my plan of how I implemented it to do some badly needed organizing, cleaning and decluttering (OCD) with my kids recently:
    http://8020time.blogspot.com/2010/04/bursting-with-children.html
    I think one of the keys to time management is to have a variety of tools and techniques in the toolkit and to know when to pull out which tool. Like you don’t expect a hammer to work for unscrewing a lightbulb, you can’t expect a regular to-do list to work sometimes for areas where you’re experiencing some resistance and thinking that you can’t allow yourself to have SOME pleasure in your day like surfing the net. The key is to build that fun stuff into your day as a reward to pull yourself through your list.

  42. Mizuki
    Mizuki says:

    My mom has that book! Hmm I think I better start reading it..

    I’ve learned a lot from this post. Honestly, I don’t know what my priorities in life are… I think I really need to list down everything I want to do.. >< I hope to be productive this year..

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