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Want to Be More Productive? Organize Your To-Do List by Emotion

A numbered to-do list on a notepad.

We’re always looking for ways to manage our increasing workloads. However, what if instead of organizing our work by deadline or type, we organized our work based on how completing certain tasks would make us feel?

In this piece on Medium, entrepreneur and author Robyn Scott talks about how categorizing her work by how completing a task would make her feel increased her productivity. Here are the categories she uses:

  1. Triumphant: Client pitches, investment presentations, hiring plans. Mission critical stuff.
  2. Supremely satisfying: Inbox zero (aided by Tony Hsieh’s lovely “Yesterbox” technique), making a tricky phone call, research.
  3. Massive relief: Tax return, sorting out insurance, booking flights.
  4. Highly helpful: Intros, advice, intros, intros.
  5. Basic decency: Thank you notes, keeping promises. I’ve found this list surprisingly revealing. It shows the conflict between two things I value greatly: generosity and integrity. I tend to promise too much. Seeing my impossibly long list in “basic decency” helps me avoid over-promising and jeopardising integrity.
  6. Delight: I’d been meaning for ages to get a print of Raphael’s School of Athens for my office, calling a friend out of the blue.
  7. Fit for Battle: A daily run, 10 minute morning meditation. (I’ve been reading books on war recently, hence the description.)

Read the rest of her story here.

Do you have a unique way of organizing your work? 

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by Allison Jones

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