Try an “Anti To-Do List”

Try an “Anti To-Do List”

Having a To-Do list is useful. Moreover, it is a must. It gives us a confidence and creates order. It motivates. You are starting the day with fresh energy, looking up the items in the list. It has the power of having an agenda before a meeting. Your mind is preparing for the day. 

One of the catches is to be overly optimistic about it. Think twice if the tasks in your daily list are feasible or you are getting carried away. Not many things are as demotivating as ruined expectations by the end of the day.

How can we look at the To-Do list idea from a different point of view? There is a productivity strategy called an “anti to-do list”.

What is the Anti To-Do List?

The technique works opposite to a regular to-do list. Write down things already done. Doing so, you will see the list of things you have accomplished at the end of the day. How could that be possible? Focusing on the positive side is great, but where is the planning, where are the things that MUST be done? There is nothing in trying a new technique. Here are some lessons learned using only the anti to-do list:

  1. To-Do List Means You Don’t Trust Yourself Enough. The idea itself sounds like a sure way to get nothing done. But let go of the plan. You still have notes and goals, you interact with people. It is possible to get through the day the way you managed before. There are lots of documents and artifacts – email, schedules, calendar and not the least – your brain. Don’t blindly rely on the list. Trust yourself more!

  2. Celebrate Achievements! The traditional to-do list is a race in which the goal is to cross-out all daily tasks. The problem is that it never seems enough. The anti-list turns your viewpoint opposite. Everything you managed to accomplish is listed. That might have surprisingly good effect over your productivity levels. The sense of accomplishment and feeling content is a great motivation. After all, you need to feel the drive and enjoy to get best results.
  3. Balance. The strategy will completely change the way you feel at work and the way you feel about yourself. It does not mean you must give up the to-do list forever. Try to merge and incorporate the best of both in your working style. The point is to find what works for you. You can still maintain both to-do list and anti-list. Recognize what must be done, make planning more coherent and celebrate your efforts for the day! Find your way through to stay positive, happy and productive.


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