I have major issues around obligation. I feel stressed out and burdened when I feel that I have lots of pending obligations.
I feel especially bogged down by to-do lists. I accumulate to-do items any time I think “Wouldn’t it be cool if”, and even though I put them low down on the list, the length of the list quickly begins to stress me out.
The Could-Do List
Oh! I can separate my to-do list into a to-do list and a could-do list. Could-do items are things that it might be a good idea to do, but nothing bad will happen if I don’t. I might miss an opportunity for something good, but I won’t bring about anything bad by letting it sit.
To-do items are obligations. Could-do items are opportunities.
So, Kyeli and I edited each of our project pages to have two lists on it, a to-do list and a could-do list. We like it a lot. (:
This one simple change has vastly increased my happiness and my productivity. Now I can knock my to-do items off quickly, then move on to the fun pile of awesome things that I could do.
P.S. Oh, hey, look at this. I’m not the first one to come up with the idea of a “could-do” list, but they suggest simply renaming all your “to-do” items to “could-do”. I’m all for reducing obligation, but that sounds like sticking your fingers in your ears to me. (: