What To-dos Can’t Do

To-dos can’t help you change your posture, or your change your mind, or change your attitude.

They can’t help you obtain someone else’s openness to your ideas, they can’t create an environment of discourse and understanding, and they can’t help you become a better listener.

But objectives can help you with all those things.

Here’s a list of objectives. Its headline starts with “Before” and finishes with “I’ll have:”. Each objective starts with a verb in a past participle, indicating what having accomplished that objective will look like.

Before the end of the day, I’ll have:
Given others my listening attention
Obtained an environment of trust
Created a feeling of understanding
Adopted a posture of attentiveness
Assisted the people in my team in validating their ideas

These objectives work because writing them down changes your angle. You’re not doing stuff, you’re making sure certain things happen.

Not everything that matters is a to-do.

That list up there is something I call a have-done list. If you’d like to shift do doing more of what matters, and you’d like someone to accompany you with examples and feedback, consider The Language of Objectives course.