I’ve come to realize that I am much more motivated to perform routine tasks if I can identify two or more beneficial reasons for performing the task. If the task only has one use or benefit of its outcome, then I’m likely to think I can live without that outcome, and not perform the task. I need these multiple input motivations to stack together and push me to perform.
A recent convergence on multiple benefits for doing a task as emerged recently, in planning for my day. One thing I would like to do, is to be more organized and create a daily plan or task list to help me prioritize my goals for the day. Another thing I’d like to be able to do is practice writing on a daily basis, so that I can more frequently create blog posts and more comfortably articulate my thoughts in writing in the business world. Finally I’ve always wanted to create a journal that perhaps I can pass on to my kids or to use in long-term planning or personal review, and to look back and see the trends of my life.
Combining all of these things has led me to a practice of not creating a task list, but a narrative story of how I see my day unfolding. By avoiding the dreaded task list, visualizing the flow of my day, and practicing a storytelling narrative style all at the same time gives me many reasons for engaging in the habit of daily planning. I think the narrative visualization is a very important aspect of daily planning, and forming what you expect to happen in your day into a story really engages that side of your brain to rehearse your day and make it flow that much more easily.
The day never works out as I had envisioned. And that’s okay. At the end of the day I can read my narrative and make notes and updates in the same document that described what really happened, see differences between how I thought the day would unfold and how they actually unfolded, and then in the nightly review naturally see how my expectations are thwarted by the events of the day. This helps me plan the next day that much more effectively.