The Doing list: How to direct yours

So you’ve compiled your Done list. You’ve planned your Do list. Now it’s time to create the connection between those two. That connection is your Doing list, the action list.

The Doing list is not a plan or a memory. It’s what’s happening right now, in real life. It’s the easiest list to make (save the Wannado), but the hardest to keep going in the right direction.

Still, the discipline of making this list can by itself make a huge difference in what you’re doing. So…

  • Start from your Do list: This is why I suggested that you create your lists in this order. If you just list what you have been doing, that’s no fun. Your Do list wouldn’t be doing you any good. Instead, use your plan, your Do list, to figure out your Doing list. That’s what plans are for: to put into action.
  • A couple items should be from your Do list: I like to pick one big goal and one little goal, and add those to my Doing list. You’ll knock out the small item quickly (and then you can add another), but you’ll also make steady progress on one of your bigger goals.
  • Selectively add items from your actual log: Once you have a couple from your Do list, you can start adding in some of the “normal” stuff. But be careful. With each item you add, ask yourself if it’s really contributing. Will you be able to add it to your Done list someday? Are you enjoying it now?
  • Cut an item or add an extra: Right when you think you have your list set, change it. Add an extra item to push yourself to do a little more. Alternatively, you can cut out an item to focus more on what’s left. Either option can work. If this is your first time making this kind of list, just experiment with either one. You might find that one tends to work better for you, though I’ve had success with both options at different times.

That’s it. It’s not too complicated. The point is just to make sure what you’re doing will lead to what you want done.

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