Introducing task management with #happytask

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Do you recognize any of the following scenarios? It’s evening, you sit on the couch and you finally have a moment for yourself. Your day was filled with activities and your to do list is still long. You feel as if there was no time for you in this day. Introducing: task management with #happytask.

Or maybe you meet with a friend for a coffee and while you’re having a conversation your mind is busy with everything you still need to do. You’re not fully present and somehow you feel guilty for taking time out of your schedule. Introducing the #happytask.

We live in a time of goal setting, scheduling, full calendars and long long to do lists. Many feel overwhelmed and stressed and don’t find time for relaxation, rebalancing or refocusing. Somehow the requirements of the day and of our environment fill up our days and our personal needs are not fulfilled. Introducing #happytask.

What is a #happytask?

I have heard many people say: “I am so busy, it’s as if I have no time to breathe and I just have to keep going.” And my question to them is: “What is on your to do list?” Most of the time that list is filled with obligations, work tasks, household chores, appointments or even other people’s needs.

I’s a long list. A list that seems to be growing all the time. Because every time a task gets crossed off the list, two new items will be added. No wonder that overwhelm creeps in.

Where are you on that list? Oh, maybe your time to the gym is scheduled and that is something that you do for you. Yet some seem to see that as an obligation as well. Or maybe there is a party in your calendar for next week. Sounds good.

What I am talking about are those small islands of rest and refreshment during the day. We often forget them. And if we take a short break, we don’t count them. Yet they are so important. Short conscious breaks can work miracles. Put them on your list!

I called such an item on my list my #happytask. And I schedule it just like any other task. And I do all of them. I don’t skip them. Why would I put cleaning the kitchen on my to do list and won’t mention taking a bath?

Why would you schedule them?

Isn’t it interesting how we go about our days? We see cleaning the kitchen as worth scheduling, yet taking a bath doesn’t seem worth mentioning. Even worse, many feel guilty when they take that bath. As if they take time from more important things to spend on themselves. Oops, that’s not a healthy mindset. With a lack of energy we do things half anyway.

The solution is to put those things on the to do list, do them, cross them off and feel good about it. After all making sure that you are healthy, fit and rested is so important. If we have enough energy we can tackle anything. By getting that important thing on your list, you give a signal to yourself that it is not slacking off – it is something of great significance when you take that bath!

Putting the wash in the washing machine takes, how long, 5 minutes? Drinking a cup of tea and watching the birds play in front of the house also takes 5 minutes. Now imagine that you have both on your to do list. You will be so much more aware of the importance of your own well-being.

Somehow it is strange how we approach things. Some said to me: “I need to put the laundry on the list, it needs to get done. Drinking tea will be done anyway.” Why not turn it around? You could put drinking tea on the your list. The laundry will get done anyway, there comes a moment when you need those clean towels… When I suggest that, I get strange looks :-)

But when you look at your list at the end of the day, you will remember those nice moments. And somehow these little islands of refreshment will affect the way you look at the past day. It will look as if that day wasn’t only busy. That even though you tackled a huge amount of work, you still made time for  yourself. Both will make you feel better.

It may sound like a simple thing, a nice idea, something that you easily dismiss. Don’t underestimate those little things. Our lives are lived moment by moment. Every moment counts. The more moments of joy and well-being we experience, the more our overall outlook on life gets lifted.

At the end of the day a difficult task that took 2 hours will be one line in our list. The walk around the block that took 10 minutes will also fill one line. Both will be crossed off and somehow it feels as if that one hour difficult task is balanced by the 10 minutes around the block.

Now you feel good twice. Your difficult job is done. And you took time for yourself. Both are totally fulfilling.

Practical implementation

Do it, you’ll like it. Start with making a long list of nice things you can do for yourself. If you want you can categorize them. Make a list with one minute activities, 5 minutes activities or one hour activities – whatever feels good and suits your situation. Yes, minute activities work as well. They are fantastic for the moments between two tasks. As does that one hour in the museum during lunch break.

And then start implementing. Whenever you take a break, look at your list and pick one. Of course don’t forget to put it on your to do list and cross it off. Give  your task management a happy face – one #happytask at a time.

You will find some ideas on this page. And I will post them regularly on Facebook or Twitter. Just search for #happytask any time you are searching for fresh ideas. And of course feel free to post suggestions yourself. The more ideas the better. You may want to add your suggestions below in the comments – or indeed post them on twitter or go to this facebook post and add your ideas. (Be sure to look at the page as well and like it when you’re there)

Do this for a while and see how it works. Enjoy! – Margot  #happytask day 1 Light some candles and drink tea #happytask day 2 Pet my cat #happytask day 3 Find a straw with nice colors for today's drinks #happytask day 4 Watch the colors in the sky at sunrise #happytask day 5 Do my thinking in the bathtub

#happytask day 6 Feed the birds and watch them

#happytask day 7 Find the great and little bear in the night sky

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