An excellent practice to be productive with less pressure – Episode 117

Here’s a way to go easy on yourself, track your progress and be gently and steadily productive. Ditch your To-Do List and start making Have-Done List every day.

This episode is a lesson from my course Harmonious Multi-Passionate Life. The second cohort of the course is starting soon, in October 2023.

Listen to the episode on the audio player below 👇🏽 (or on any podcast app that you like). If you prefer reading instead, scroll down. Enjoy! 🙂

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An excellent practice to be productive with less pressure

(gently edited transcript for a good reading experience)

“The whole process, whatever I started off with you, I think it’s really given me so much of clarity. And it’s changed a lot of perceptions and ideas and ideologies as well. A few exercises that I went about doing really put a lot of my thought process down.

The Have-Done List helped me a lot, I’ve been following it quite a bit. The writing down has been helping me a lot. And then, me writing down things that… the acknowledgement… Acknowledge The Value Of Everything You Try Out, that part of it was great. I wrote down so many different things, so many pages of things, and it made me feel so good about myself.

It’s a very unheard of course. I was speaking to my core friends who’re attending different therapy classes and sessions about their personal life. And I told them this is more like a session that I’m doing, with this particular person, and this is what the course is, and it is perhaps the only therapy that I need in life. And they were so surprised about the way the entire course is built up and the way it is formulated in particular. It’s very different and new. So, I’m so happy for it.”

Hey gang! My Harmonious Multi-Passionate Life Course is baaaaack. Yay!

And that was Sumanth, one of the participants from the previous cohort, sharing his experience of the course. I did the first cohort of Harmonious Multi-Passionate Life in April earlier this year, and it was quite a fulfilling experience for me, as well as the students.

Leading up to that course I recorded a bunch of episodes about being a multi-passionate, so if you’re interested to listen to more about it, and understand what multi-passionate is (and you’re probably one) then listen to episodes 91 to 97 on the podcast.

So to celebrate the relaunch of the course, I’m gonna share one very important lesson from the course as today’s episode.

Until this point, only students of the course had access to this particular lesson, but now I’m sharing it with all of you!

I got the original idea for the lesson from somebody I really admire. Author Oliver Burkeman, whose book 4000 Weeks I’ve probably told you about a zillion times on the podcast already. So I hope you find this lesson really useful.

And if you’d like to sign up for Harmonious Multi-Passionate Life, then sign up for my newsletter, The Feel Good Tribe. I’ll be sharing more updates about the course there. Also, leading up to the course, I’ll share a lot of important tips and things that you can use even if you don’t join the course. Things that are going to be useful to you as a multi-passionate person.

Okay, here goes…

Almost every one, at some point in life, makes To-Do Lists

When we complete a task on the list and tick it off, there’s a nice feeling of satisfaction. But To-Do Lists can also add a lot of stress if you put a lot of things on the long list, and then you’re obsessed with ticking them all off.

It becomes even more difficult for us when we’re multi-passionates because there are so many things to do in so many areas. And then, even though we’re occupied all day long, busy with one thing or another, it feels as if nothing is achieved, as if nothing got done.

This happens whether you have a To-Do List or not

If you have a To-Do List, it’ll feel like there’s very little that you managed to get done. And if you don’t have one, you don’t even have track of what you’ve done so it feels like nothing at all has gotten done.

I’m sure you’re familiar with days like this where you felt like you’ve run around all day, you’re feeling drained, you’re feeling stressed, anxious, all of it, but somehow there is no sense of moving forward, purpose, being fulfilled, or that things having been accomplished.

Now the reason for this is, we all have a tendency to feel anxious, put more pressure on ourselves, unnecessarily stress about things, worry about things and then judge ourselves and feel guilty.

And of course we don’t deserve to go through any of those feelings and emotions, regardless of whether we do something, or we just let ourselves be, and spend all day long just being and relaxing.

So first of all, it’s important to remember that you are worthy

Regardless of whether you’re producing something or not, contributing something or not, you’re worthy as you are, because of who you are. Your uniqueness, your talents, your interests, your sheer energy as a person in itself is worthy of love, wellbeing, appreciation, all of it.

So first of all, remember this. And starting from this point, here’s the thing…If you get even one thing done in a day, it’s enough.

There are days where we can’t do a lot, we can’t push ourselves too much. Either life is happening, or we really don’t feel that energy to move ahead. And on days like this, if you complete even one small task, learn to feel satisfied with it.

A good practice to inculcate is to have a Have-Done List instead of a To-Do List

Anyway, you’re going to have a Kanban board, or a system to list out all your ideas, and sort them out, and organise them (that’s covered in another lesson). So you don’t have to have a separate To-Do List for your every day (or every week, every month) things that need to be done.

So a To-Do List? Don’t even stress yourself with that. Instead, create a Have-Done List.

A Have-Done List is exactly how it sounds, it’s the opposite of a To-Do List

So you complete one task, whether it’s a big task, mini task, whatever it is, you complete one task. And the moment you complete it, go and write it down in your Have-Done List. Then you start working on the next task. Once you’ve completed that, go and put it down on the list.

This way, it’ll also stop you from getting distracted and trying to do too many things at the same time. Now we can do a lot of things. We can do many things throughout the day. But we should not try to get too many things done, or even more than one thing done all at once.

Your attention is not meant to be split, so multitasking is not a good thing

When you have to put it down on the list once you complete something, your focus will be completely on that thing. You’ll complete it, and then you’ll go put it down on the list. That way you feel a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment, and it feels very nice.

It releases that pressure because you’re noticing how much you actually are getting done

And I’ll tell you, until we list things out, every single one of them, we miss things. We don’t realise just how much we’re doing. Then, you know, we don’t appreciate ourselves enough.

Not just that, you’re not able to track your progress properly. You don’t realise in which areas you’re progressing, how you’re doing. None of that is easy to track if you don’t have a Have-Done List.

You can alternately write a Have-Done List at the end of your day. No problem. You know, if you don’t want to write after every task, write it at the end of the day. Keep time aside, sit down and do it before you go to bed.

Make this a part of your nightly ritual, or wind up ritual at the end of your workday

And then, make a list of all the things you achieved, accomplished, got done. Everywhere you made progress, put it all down on the list. You can do it this way.

But I feel like this could add pressure. It’ll feel like one more task. And that feeling of you know releasing the pressure through the day like, “done. done. done. done”, you’ll miss out on that.

So consider doing the list as and when you get things done. But in case you don’t want to do that, or you’re unable to do that, then you do it at the end of the day no matter what.

It’s very, very important to maintain a Have-Done List. Especially right now at the beginning when you’re trying to get things organised, and be productive, and move forward. You know, gently grow in multiple areas.

Until you have a rhythm going, this is a very good practice

It’s going to keep you feeling fulfilled and motivated. Every morning when you wake up, it gives you a sense of purpose. You know, you’re looking forward to the things that you’re going to add to the list.

And the best part is, as a multi-passionate you don’t even know what you’re going to add to the list, because you get to choose things along the way, and do things, right? So it’s going to be a lot of fun to see, “oh what’s going to go on my Have-Done List today?”

So start this practice right from today, and share how this practice makes you feel.

Yup, that was the lesson

As you can see, it was a short lesson. And every single day of the course, I’m going to have a lesson which is going to be just about as long as that one, and includes some kind of an action step for you to implement. So that as you participate in the cohort, you also progress and there’s some accountability as you move forward.

All right. Talk to you again next week. Take care.

I use Otter for all my transcriptions, and it’s awesome! Try it out.

Susmitha Veganosaurus

Shorth haired Indian lady, beaming a wide smile. Flowers in the background. Vegan business coach and chef Susmitha Veganosaurus

“I’m a Spiritual Vegan Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. I read voraciously, find humour in most things, and believe kindness and authenticity can make this world a happier, loving place.

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Vegan cuisine and holistic business building are my two biggest passions. If you’re looking for guidance with vegan cooking, or want to grow your conscious business with joy and fulfilment explore ways we can work togetherhere.”