Put off until tomorrow what you can do today4 min read
Probably one of the most common lies we tell ourselves is that someday we’ll finish our tasks for the day earlier and we’ll just relax for the rest of the day, or maybe pick some tasks from tomorrow if we feel productive. But has this ever happened to you? Well, for me it happens daily for the past week, and it’s AWESOME.
I just love this picture from Todoist because I never saw it until now, and the reason for that is that I always had unfinished tasks at the end of the day, but not anymore!
Enough bragging, now you’re wondering how I’m doing this. Maybe I schedule only a few easy tasks for each day, or maybe I’m very productive in the morning and I do all my tasks without procrastinating at all. Which one is it?
To be honest, neither of them, I just postpone most of my tasks for the next day. I kept reading about how you should focus only on 3 things for the day, or trying to pick the most important stuff and learning to say NO, but I always think of myself as very productive in the morning so I plan a lot of tasks. Then something unexpected comes up and I don’t get to do all of them, so I postpone them to the next day…and if you do this for more than a few days you feel like you’re not as productive as you should be, or even worst, you feel disappointed in yourself.
My idea is to move to tomorrow every task that is not a meeting or an appointment. I leave these for today because they can’t be postponed and it’s usually not my call to do that.
The next step is to pick one task from tomorrow. Maybe it’s something from work or something to do around the house, it doesn’t matter, the main criteria is to pick the most important thing from tomorrow that you want to complete right now. After all your meetings are over and your task is done, you’ll notice that you don’t have anything else to do, so you pick something else from tomorrow, and task by task you’ll accomplish the most important ones.
Maybe it’s easier to understand with an example, so here’s one from today:
I already moved almost all my tasks for tomorrow, so now I have just these 4. The first one can be checked because my day is organized, and then I have to take my pills and join two meetings. Pretty easy day, right? But as you can see, now I have a lot of free time, between 10:00 and 13:30, or between the two meetings, or after them, so now I go to tomorrow and pick something to work on.
Now I checked one task(“organizing the day”), and I added another one from tomorrow. Once I finish that one, I’ll pick something else, or I can enjoy the rest of the day and relax because I finished the most important things.
What I like about this approach is that it makes my day more clear and there’s no shaming at the end of the day when you have to move your unfinished tasks to tomorrow. Also, if you try to prioritize each task it will be hard to say no, but moving them all at once is really easy because you don’t have to think about them that much. Currently, I’m still exploring this so I’m not saying it’s something everyone should try, but it works for me and I just wanted to share this with you.