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Writing Your Tasks Down Is An Art

The way you write down your task can impact your ability to get it done. When I write a task down, I try to ask myself, "Is this concrete? is it clearly actionable?" I've found that a good rule of thumb is that if there's an uncertainty on how to begin a given task, I probably need to flesh it out more.

People (myself included) procrastinate often times because they envision a given task being more complicated than it is in actuality. I'm frequently astounded at how little time it takes to do things that I've spent an inordinate time thinking about in my head.

For example, one time I had the task of buying a diploma frame to frame my college degree. I completed this task in July 2020 despite the fact that I graduated college a year earlier in 2019. There was no particularly compelling reason why it took me so long to complete such a seemingly simple task: I just keep procrastinating on it. However, when I broke it down, I realized that the task ultimately boiled down to several steps: get in the car, drive to multiple stores until I find a diploma frame that fits, drive back home, etc. To be able to accomplish this task, I needed to break it down into smaller bite sized tasks. This task was one where I couldn't complete the task of framing my diploma until I completed the task that preceded it of purchasing a diploma frame that fit. This method of moving methodically down a to do list is what I personally believe creates that highly coveted state people call "flow."


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