5 Hacks to Finally Finish Your Most Dreaded To-Do List Item - Deepstash

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5 Hacks to Finally Finish Your Most Dreaded To-Do List Item

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/5-hacks-to-finally-finish-your-most-dreaded-to-do-list-item.html

inc.com

5 Hacks to Finally Finish Your Most Dreaded To-Do List Item
You know the kind of to-do list item I'm talking about -- the ones that linger at the bottom of your list as you churn through less horrible tasks above it, the one that seems to laugh at you every time you look at your list, the one that causes a sinking feeling in your stomach every time you tell yourself, "Today is finally the day!"

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5 Ways Of Tackling Dreaded Tasks

  1. Do it in another location. It may be what you need to shock you into action.
  2. Bribe yourself. Having something to look forward to can make unpleasant tasks more bearable.
  3. Acknowledge your fear of failure. Doing so makes taking the first steps of the task easier.
  4. Commit to doing at least 5 minutes of it. Momentum may drive you to keep working. It's also easier to do things if you know you can bail after a few minutes.
  5. Document your process. It keeps your mind occupied while you complete it and you can use the notes to outsource the task.

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To-Do Lists

Your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy.

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The two modes

At any point during the workday, you are in one of these modes:
  • When a project or task comes up, the steps you need to take start to form in your mind. Now you're in thinking/Boss mode. 
  • Your to-do list is a collection of those orders, which your Assistant personality will later pick up and do.
Write down the instructions in such a way that your Assistant self can just do them without having to think - or stress. 

Put Items That You're Definitely Doing

Instead of letting tasks you're not quite committed to loiter on your to-do list until you're sick of looking at them, move them off to a separate list, a holding area for Someday/Maybe items. 

Only concrete actions you're committed to completing should live on your to-do list.

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The State of Flow

The State of Flow

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Make Frustrating Tasks Easier

Work tasks are rarely chosen by you, so they rarely have optimal difficulty. To make them more likely to produce flow:

  1. Slow down on your work and let go of the expectations you have related to your tasks.
  2. Complex tasks can seem very overwhelming and frustrating. So break them up into more manageable sub-tasks.
  3. Lower your standards temporarily to get the faucet running. Perfectionism will not help you in this case.

Make Boring Tasks More Interesting

You tend to start daydreaming spontaneously when you don’t have something harder to do. To make boring tasks more engaging:

  1. Up your game. Even a slight increase in standards is often enough to make your focus sharper.
  2. Measure your performance, keep track of it as you go and make the stakes higher for whatever you’re doing.
  3. Do it differently. If you change up your explicit strategy, removing the ability to do it by rote, you can increase engagement.

Get Your System Under Control

Create 3 different to-do lists:

  • Important but non-time sensitive projects list
  • Items that need to be completed today list
  • Not-to-do list

The Not-to-do List

The purpose of this list is to know the tasks the are not important and are not worthwhile. There are a lot of things worthy of your time and getting rid of those unnecessary tasks will give you more time to complete more important tasks.

How to Make Your Don't Do List

  • Reevaluate your to-do list: Identify the goals and determine how the items in your list impact your aims.
  • Create your not to-do list: Cut those unimportant tasks in your to-do list and paste it on your no to-do list. By doing this, you must accept that your time is limited and commit on letting them go.
  • Evaluate new tasks: From then on, once a new assignment arrives, evaluate its importance and the effects of it with your goals.