One of the most usefully perverse ways for me to get stuff done, is to take things off my to-do list every day. According to Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, I’m a questioner with streaks of rebel. I don’t wholly subscribe to the tendencies theory, but there’s definitely some correlation with how I respond to expectations and that’s why I’ve come to manage the to-do list this way.
I view my list as a little like a sprint backlog in Agile programming. It’s a list of things I’d like to get done and some will clearly need doing sooner. Some of the to-dos need breaking down in to smaller, more concrete actions. After doing both of those things, I try and think about how I’m feeling today and what I might actually accomplish rather than merely hope to. Then the pruning can begin.
Some tasks are simply kicked back to tomorrow (which might happen more than once), while other tasks are recognised as being untenable – at least for a while. I move and accommodate as necessary. At the end of this morning exercise, I’ve got a list of things that I’ve chosen and feel capable of tackling, rather than pushed into and unsure about.
As a questioner/rebel, however you define that preference, I can now work from the list instead of looking obstinately at it!