Maybe I’m fooling myself, maybe I’m onto something. I don’t know, but I know I dislike To-Do Lists very much and this post is proof they are an unnecessary as the first step towards starting a new project. Allow me to explain how I came to this bratty/brilliant conclusion and share with you the magic of what I call, “The Doable List.”
The Dreaded “To-Do” Is A First Step You Can “Scratch.”
So, I’ve been wanting to get back into my blog for a while now. I took an unexpectedly long break and when I came back into myself, I didn’t know where to start. Each night before bed, I’d tell myself that I’d wake up early and get things moving again. As if it were that easy, as if it was like setting a wake-up alarm on my soul. I had a habit of making To-Do Lists and then hitting the snooze button. Once I see it all in list form I realize how much work has piled up on my spiritual desk and, it starts to feel like a million tiny reasons why I shouldn’t even bother to start. That’s ultimately what made me give up on to-do lists.
Don’t get me wrong, lists are great for organizing and communicating ideas, but to-do lists do absolutely nothing to actually help me get started on a project. They may have a place later down the line, but I’m in the now, baby! So let me live! Just scratch them and make a doable list instead. Here’s how…
A Doable List is:
A small group of tasks that can be started and completed within a 24 hour time period. A doable list yields measurable results and sharable progress. It is to be used as a first step towards your creative, athletic, academic, media, holistic, spiritual, Instagram, and social justice goals, etc. A doable list is a better FIRST step towards reaching your goals because once it is created it is then meant to shared and released into the universe. It is a spark to ignite something awesome.
There are no “rules,” but here are some pointers…
- A “Doable List” is limited to just 4 or 5 tasks. (And you don’t even have to write them down, just do it).
Ask yourself, “What can I start doing in this very moment that will allow me to start reaching my goal today?”
A doable list starts at the skill level you’re already at, with the resources you already own. It doesn’t require you to buying anything, or need anybody’s help, praise, or permission. Also, it shouldn’t require too much time–because guess what? A doable list is something you can (and will) complete by the end of the day.
- Your first “Doable List” should not exceed your energy, time, or ability.
The tasks should honor the your level of interest without killing it. Do the absolute most enjoyable part of the project first and work from there. Do this even if it means working backwards or out of order. The purpose of doable list is to jumpstart your creative motor till your ambitious drive can take over. If you allow yourself to just enjoy the ride, you’ll eventually become more willing to put in the real work. The tasks should spark joy and the end result should feed your soul. Completion should make you feel proud of your progress and hungry for more challenges.
- You start by doing and you learn by troubleshooting.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so you really have to just do it. Just start. It is the only way to identify where you need to place more work and effort. Embrace being a novice and enjoy the process. True knowledge is acquired when things don’t work out and you have to troubleshoot and rely on your own skills to fix problems on the fly.
You may stop reading now if you get it. Otherwise check out my examples of common “to-do lists” vs. “doable lists” below…
I want to: Publish makeup tutorials on Instagram.
Your OLD To-Do List: Buy new makeup and brushes. Buy professional lighting system. Take a professional makeup class. Learn camera work and video editing software. Have perfect skin. Get perfect music, images, graphics, and hashtags for posts. Get lots followers and likes, etc.
Your NEW Doable List: Clean bathroom counter off so you have a work space. Do your regular makeup routine in stages and record it with your cell phone. Upload & edit with free apps. Make an online account to display your digital portfolio of work. Share your project with friends and family.
I want to: Be a rapper and perform my music.
Your OLD To-Do List: Make or find original beats. Buy audio engineering equipment. Produce a mix-tape and get shows. Make a website, flyers, t-shirts and other promotional material and merch. Make a music video,etc.
Your NEW Doable List: Dedicate a journal to just your rhymes. Try to freestyle out loud or free-write with pen and paper. Record yourself on your phone so you can catch lyrical gems and play it back to yourself. Get rhyming dictionary from library or free online. Join a community (online or in person) for support or feedback. Look up open-mics and rap battles in your area.
I want to: Get fit.
Your OLD To-Do List: Buy a scale and new gym clothes. Create a master exercise routine. Create master nutrition plan. Buy protein shake powders and special foods. Sign up for marathon. Get gym membership or buy fitness equipment.
Your NEW Doable List: Add healthy snacks to your plate. Replace soda with water. Make use of whatever exercise clothes you already own. Use objects around the house as weightlifting equipment.