Every week you make the same damn boring to-do list. But why? A to-do list is arguably an intimate look inside YOU. It’s not just a list of shit you have to do; a to-do list is a bold declaration of your motivations and ambitions. You’ve decided something was important enough that you couldn’t trust your memory, and you write it down. Surely something so important deserves some flair?

You need some of this in your life. Don’t be a Jennifer Aniston about this.

That’s why I like to add a certain zestiness to my to-do’s. Show some emotion. Infuse it with language that will motivate me. Specify WHY I need to do what I need to do.

Use anger judiciously. Curse liberally.

I don’t just need to “Call the roofer.” I need to “Call that asshole roofer and ask him when the fuck he’s gonna send me the goddamn paperwork I’ve been asking for.”


Treat yo sef.

If you just write “Pedicure” into your to-do list, you’re turning a treat into a chore. That’s practically a productivity sin. Opt for this instead: “Get a pedicure. Because I’m worth it *flips hair*

Remind yourself what’ll happen if you DON’T get it done.

I don’t just need to “Make fried rice” for my son, Alex. I need to “Make fried rice, or do you want him to only eat mac & cheese for the rest of his life!?

More examples:

“Get an oil change already, you’re 4K miles overdue.”

“Do the laundry, or else you have to go commando on Monday.”

A little shame never hurt anyone.

Writing in “Lip wax” on your to-do list is getting off easy. How about “Wax your lips, because Chip in marketing keeps staring at your mustache.”

You can bet Cersei’s got a lot of names to cross off her list. See what I mean? Shame works.

So. What kind of emotional blackmail do you work on yourself to get your shit done? Let me know in the comments!