Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Draw Your Day

by Randy Murray on November 15, 2011

To-do lists are made of of words. Lot of words. Too many words.

Your list may seem impossibly long. You’ll never get all of these things done. And sometimes, often, it’s hard to see how you’ll do any of them today.

Seeing is the key word. Seeing your list as pictures might just help you get moving and even excited about doing something.

Not all of us are artists. I’m certainly not. But almost anyone can draw simple pictures. Stick figures are your friends.

Take a few minutes and try this: take your to-do list and start a new one. For each item on your list, draw a simple picture of what it would look like finished. For example, if you need to clean and paint a bench, draw the bench and a few lines coming off it showing it bright and new. If you have to rake the leaves, draw a pile of them.

If you have to finish a report, draw a page with a few squiggly lines and an A+ at the top. If you want to write a book, show it on the shelf, or yourself signing copies in a bookstore.

These simple pictures of your ideal state may help you compare what you want to where you are now. And that might make it easier to do that one thing today the moves you closer.

Your best to-dos are simple, one-step items. And a picture of the finished state might be literally worth a thousand words.

Today, draw a set of pictures about your day. You might start with a clock in the middle of the page and mark off sections of the day. For me, my working day is simple: a computer keyboard, barbells, a piano keyboard, a stack of books, the computer keyboard again. That’s how I spend my time, but it’s not my goals. My goals are different pictures: Handing in work to clients, myself fit and pain free, plays and books written and in production, and feeding my mind with interesting stuff.

The pictures of to dos that I might have set myself, like sitting at the computer writing, are very different from the pictures of doing work for clients and writing plays and books. Looking at those picture makes me pause, reconsider my time, and take action.

What does your day look like?

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