What do you feel when you say 'todo list'?
I bet you wouldn’t say ‘I feel inspired and motivated.’
You may feel indifferent, but you may feel resistant, frustrated, tired.
The way we feel when we say this name is undoubtedly connected to our relationship
with it; and our relationships with these lists are related to how much it is easy or difficult for us to lead the life we want.
This is the 1st post of this series which is about creating friendly relationships with these lists. So let’s begin, it can even be FUN.
The first most straightforward thing we can do is to re-name it; and we can do that both with our main list or any other specific, temporary list – like for a particular project.
In my experience, it makes a difference.
The magical power of words
Words have power, and it is not something we can control or ignore.
Whether we are aware of it or not, when we hear, say, or read a word,
it influences us in a certain way.
The words we choose to describe something we experience – in the past, present, or future – have a significant influence on the way this experience will unfold.
It is not an esoteric notion, and there is plenty of research on the subject.
For example, if I say ‘it’s so difficult’ it feels very different then when I say ‘it’s so challenging.’ Or if we’re frustrated with ourselves and say ‘I am so stupid,’ it’s a downer;
but if we say something like ‘OUFFFFF, I know I can do it differently’ it creates the motivation to change.
Titles we give to things – like todo lists or projects we work on – can impact the way we approach them. They influence the emotions triggered and can affect our level of motivation and inspiration.
Few options to inspire
One name I like is ‘MamaList’ – the name I give my main list that contains Everything I need or want to do (including both immediate tasks and ideas for the future). It has a nice feeling to it – like a comforting mama, and it makes sense in regards to the fact that it is the general list.
I like to have the MamaList as a base and make short daily/weekly lists or project-lists according to my needs.
Another name that my beloved friend Jym (this is how he spells his name:)) gave to his list is ‘To happen list’ – it made him feel more relaxed and happy with it.
With my dear client Anne we changed it to the ‘Happening list,’ as she felt it has a flavor of movement that she liked. We put this tag onto her documents stand, where the papers that need attention are kept, and she said it really changed the way she approached them.
We can give names to projects too; Even naming them as we would name our pets.
Simon, a beloved client, named his CD producing project “Carbon” because he liked the attributes this element has.
Feel like re-naming your todo list? Just be playful
Even if you have a messy list and you are not sure how to work with it, you can already start by choosing a name that makes you smile and playful in regards to your tasks and wishes.
In the next posts, much more advice on how to get along better with these lists.
You are welcome to share your new name/s in the comments below
and even upload a photo of your named list.