How did I increase my productivity with two things?
For one, I started using a to-do list, and I am using an “Anti-List.”
I recently came across the “Anti-List” by Marc Andreesen and started to implement into to my daily life; it works like a charm.
Because you get to see all the things you did and always do in a day but never really take credit for, it’s great to see the results at the end of the day before you go to bed.
But before I delve deeper into the anti-lists I want to explore the more traditional to-do list.
What is a to-do list?
As the name suggests, it’s a list of things that reminds you of the things you have to-do, pretty basic. For to-do lists to work though, you have to break your tasks down into as many pieces as possible for them to be achievable and for you to be able to check that mark at the end of the day.
This also works perfectly for goals, break them down and do it backwards. If you want to earn 40k a month, then research what it would take to get there and break these tasks down into multiple ones if they appear too bulky or big, or unachievable.
Always break things down!
Tools that I use for that
There is an app that I use for my to-do list, and that app is called Wunderlist, it’s great. I also use Cortana on Windows 10, so I get that initial nudge to get off my ass in case I am not doing anything, it’s a bit tedious to set these things up every day or weeks in advance, but the results and the boost in productivity I experienced because of it are worth it.
Another thing for to-do lists and your “Dos” is to hold strong deadlines, always make them shorter than you are comfortable with, I guarantee you it’s working even better when you add consequences in case you fail.
Now coming back to the Anti-List
What is an Anti-List?
As I said it’s a list that you keep and write everything down that you achieved this day, everything.
It’s best to keep that list near you, which means a small notebook if you prefer to write on paper and keep it as a journal or use your smartphone, I use Evernote for that as of now and document my days just like I would in a journal with less bullshit in it.
I write down what I accomplished or did the second I finished that task or get the notice that I sold something, for example, I track EVERY accomplishment no matter how small it is and I write it down ASAP. I give myself credit for these things, and the best part about this is that it keeps me going, it’s a motivation, and I can track my results in a positive and daily manner, simply put; it’s fantastic and I highly recommend doing it.
Marc Andreesen says this about his Anti-List:
What you do is this: every time you do something — anything — useful during the day, write it down in your Anti-Todo List on the card.
Each time you do something, you get to write it down, and you get that little rush of endorphins that the mouse gets every time he presses the button in his cage and gets a food pellet.
And then at the end of the day, … take a look at today’s card and its Anti-Todo list and marvel at all the things you got done that day.
Ignoring your accomplishments is a surefire way to stop what you are working on in no time.
Now last but not least I want to cover how emotions can affect you and your to-do lists.
Although I hate to say it, emotions affect us more than I want them to, especially negative ones. Our brains are wired to perceive negative emotions more often and immediately because back in the days it helped us to survive. Because of that primal wiring they have an impact on our motivation and productivity levels.
If the emotions are negative, our motivation can take a hit and reach abysmal levels.
Negative emotions like fear, anxiety, sadness, etc. influence how creative and productive we are narrowing our thought patterns to weaken memory, planning, and decision-making.
The more we realize which direction our emotion, inner work life, and motivation are headed, the more we can take control and break out of that negative feedback loop.
To-Do Lists are a great way to give yourself constructive feedback and do some introspection. Keeping those two lists captures details, progress, and thoughts that otherwise might have been lost.
Keep lists because they work and they keep you on track of the things you want to accomplish, cut your big tasks down to make them more manageable, keep strong deadlines and add some consequences to your failures to make sure you get shit done, keep an anti-list of all the things you accomplish daily to credit yourself and your work, it keeps you going and most of all it keeps you motivated.
As always thanks for reading and until next time.
P.S. If you liked this post then you’ll like my books as well. You can get them on Amazon.