How I write tasks

Having a list of things to do is the first step towards getting those things done. But have you ever thought about how do you write the things you need to do?

I was writing my tasks as commands. "Get milk". "Write a letter". "Fix the sink". Those commands I was giving my future self. They tell you what to do.

Recently, however, I've changed my tactic. Instead of writing commands, I write tasks as they were already been done. Let me explain.

Compare those tasks:

  1. "Get milk"
  2. "I have bought the milk"

The first one is a command as we distinguished above. The second one is not a command. It is a statement. But it is not any statement. It is written using the past tense. It says that the action has been done.

What I'm doing here is instead of commanding myself to do things, I give my word that the thing will not only be done but it is already done. It helps me create the future I want to have. It shows me the state of the world after the action has been done and what can I build on top of that.

Plus, crossing out "I have done X" is more rewarding than crossing out "Do X".