Nearly all of my office organizing clients are burdened by their inbox - the physical inbox with papers representing decisions to make and things to do. Throughout our relationship we are constantly evolving how we break-out to-dos. To see all of them together in one place is a crucial step, but often feels downright overwhelming.
Though to-do categories I’ve created number well into the dozens by now, typically we end up with garden variety categories such as To Call, To Decide On, To Add To Calendar and more.
These simple straightforward breakouts have drastically transformed so many covered surfaces. So, when a blog post I read recently shed light on task categorizing in a way that had never crossed my mind, I could feel my mind bending to imagine all the ways this could benefit my clients’ out-of-the-box needs with sorting paper.
In her post Why Making My Tasks Emotional Increased my Productivity, Robyn Scott shares how she successfully started using emotional groupings such as “Massive Relief” and “Supremely Satisfying” for her tasks.
As someone who feels like she creates categories for a living, I thought everything had been said and done in this arena.
I had to spread the word and test run it immediately.
The first client I shared this with had the idea for a category called “Keeping a Roof Over My Head.” (It’s not necessarily emotional, but evokes more of a reaction than “ Bills To Pay.”) She also adopted “Supremely Satisfying” (for most big projects) and “Indulgent” (for organizing she really enjoys doing, such as organizing her shoes).
But in my very young test-run of this emotions method, last week a client blurted out a category that just NAILS how we all feel about some of our to-dos: “This sucks! I don’t want to do it.” It sure is accurate! We laughed, and on went the sticky to the front pocket in her to-dos folder.
Time will tell wether this attracts or deters her from doing the things that suck. I predict it will counterintuitively work magic, as there’s magic in using our own personal language around our own personal things in our own personal systems.
What emotional labels could you slap on your to dos? Do any mentioned here light up for you? Please share in the comments!
My niche within a niche (offices) is certainly helping people to solve the problematic mountain of action items, creating highly customized systems for to-dos. This often results in a combo of categories that is as unique as your fingerprint. If you need help creating a system for to dos an paper that sticks, let’s work together (even if you live outside of DC)!