Todo lists are tactics. The items differ from day to day. Some might be large tasks. In contrast, Trickle Lists are strategy. The same teeny tiny steps – every day – toward a long-term goal.
There are a lot of areas where constancy rules and 1 big effort just doesn’t cut it. For example, as a boss you can’t establish good relationships with your directs by dumping concentrated feedback on them at the first of the months. Instead a little feedback every other day makes a huge difference.
Doing a little every day helps building a habit. Trickle Lists are training wheels that help form those habits.
Trickle Lists in Practise
Take a sheet of paper and create a table. The columns are all the things you want to do regularly, the rows are the days of the months. You get to check a cell, if you’ve done that “trickle” on that day. After a while it’s self-reinforcing – You don’t want to break the chain.
A trickle typically takes about 5 minutes. I recommend against trickles that takes longer than 15 minutes.
To be doable, don’t try too many trickles at once. More than 5 is rather ambitious. I achieve more if I have at most 3 trickles. If I have more, I’ll just won’t get around to 2 of them. “Drawing for 5 mins” is one such failed trickle. “Catch someone doing great and praise them” worked out great, though 🙂
As you can see, my current list contains:
My brain is always seeking input, always reading or watching. It leaves me feeling that I’m seldomly “in the moment” and I’d like to be really present more often
- Sing one song
Singing makes me happy
- Dance to at least one song
Here I trick myself into a little workout: Once I start, I’ll dance longer. Especially if it’s this version of Get Lucky
Trickle lists have helped me improve in small, fuzzy, hard to tackle behaviours. Hopefully they’re useful for you, too.