The 60-Second Trick to Acing Your To-Do List
Sure, ideal Perri starts her day with yoga, journaling, and a green smoothie, but real Perri starts her day with a to-do list (and avocado toast, if I'm feeling virtuous).
Over my many years of to-do listing, I've adopted some simple tips that makes the practice a better experience for me. I use a giant notebook instead of a tiny pad — because checking things off in size 158 font feels a lot better than a pocket-sized Moleskine scrawl. I always include a few super easy tasks I hope to accomplish because a) I'm way more likely to unload the dishwasher if it's a spiffy item on my to-do list and b) checking off a few no-brainer items from the list gives you a good buzz that carries over onto harder tasks. Lastly, I take a break from my to-do list lists whenever I feel like it, because some days, who has time for that?
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Now, here's a new method I'll be adding to my to-do list approach: Follow the one-minute rule. As Rachel Bowie explains in a recent PureWow article, "The idea is that before you set out to focus on bigger items on your to-do list, tackle all the tasks you can complete in 60 seconds or less." Some examples include depositing a check on your banking app, putting spare shoes by the door away, and filling up and flipping on that new aromatherapy diffuser. (Because it's easier to get things done when your home smells like a spa, right?)
The concept originally comes from Gretchen Rubin — see her blog post here — author of The Happiness Project. As she describes in her post the rule can be boiled down as follows: "It's very simple: I must do any task that can be finished in one minute. Hang up my coat, read a letter and toss it, fill in a form, answer an email, note down a citation, pick up my phone messages, file a paper, put a dish in the dishwasher, replenish the diaper supply by the changing table, put the magazines away…and so on," she writes. "Because the tasks are so quick, it isn't too hard to make myself follow the rule—but it has big results. Keeping all those small, nagging tasks under control makes me more serene, less overwhelmed."
We can't promise the move will revolutionize your life, but try the small things first and it might mean getting an extra jolt of feel-good endorphins a few times a day. Add that to our to-do list.