It’s my latest idea to advance my mental well-being by improving my self-esteem and inner feelings of achievement. I do hope you haven’t stopped reading because, honestly, this will get more interesting. Hopefully.
In short, I have started a daily Tiny Tasks List. Every day, I write five or six tiny tasks (don’t worry, I will explain as we go along) in my diary to be ticked off
as and when completed. I could have gone for ten tiny tasks in the interests of alliteration - I do, as you know, have a Soft Spot for alliteration - but this might have turned the whole exercise into more of a chore than I intended.
At this point I need to apologise profusely to all of you who are Working Guys and Gals, with lists as long as your arms of really important tasks to be completed each and every day and who are moaning
“I wish! I wish!” even as you read this. In my defence, I too once worked full-time, trying to tick off tasks on a list which never, ever grew shorter, only longer day by day. I do understand and I feel your pain. It is one of the reasons why my
new initiative is titled Tiny Tasks because there is no way I want to revisit the past.
A Tiny Task has to be one that doesn’t take too long to complete.
It helps if it is something you would have to do anyway, which gives it Added Tickability. Today’s list included booking flu jabs for Mr B and me (well, that could have been two Tiny Tasks but I thought that would be cheating and, thanks to my mother’s
stern pronouncements in my childhood, I know that cheats never prosper); telephoning the dentist to arrange an overdue visit to the hygienist in her Torture Chamber; delivering leaflets to 62 households inviting them to a Harvest Festival; ordering bags of
compost to be delivered; and phoning British Gas about an exorbitant increase to our Homecare cover.
The first two tasks were a doddle, although the doctor’s
receptionist said that because they haven’t yet started compiling a list of home visits for flu jabs I couldn’t arrange an appointment for Mr B. This was a good thing in that it can be transferred onto a future Tiny Tasks List, though Mr B begs
to differ, not being particularly bothered about my new initiative. The ordering of compost was a triumph in that the lovely guy in the hardware shop offered to deliver straightaway as he would be driving past our house on his way somewhere else anyway. What
Mr B looked doubtful when I told him I wouldn’t be very long carrying out my delivery duties; he was eyeing the small pile of invitation cards
in my hands. Mr B has serious Trust Issues when it comes to my ideas on timing. I determined to time myself so that on next occasion (yes, I am pretty sure there will be a next occasion) I can be more precise. Though, to be honest, I will probably add on five
minutes or so, just in case I get my fingers caught in a letterbox or something. Still, job done in just 35 minutes - that’s another thing about Tiny Tasks, they mustn’t take up too much time or they wouldn’t be, well, tiny.
Actually my most successful task took me almost an hour of on-line chat with Imran from British Gas who is now, officially, my latest Best Friend Forever having saved me £80
on my renewal - I will even be paying slightly less than last year. Would I mind answering a survey to record how well he had dealt with my query, he asked. Indeed, I said, I would give him five stars. I wouldn’t even add this to the Tiny
Tasks List as it would be a pleasure to respond.
Yes, that’s the other essential element of a Tiny Task - it mustn’t be something you will enjoy doing.
So, writing to the two grandchildren away from home at University, as I did this morning, is a pure pleasure so can’t be included on The List. Posting the letters off, however, is a basically practical chore which I have already added to tomorrow’s
Tiny Tasks List.
It’s as easy as that! A Tiny Tasks List really does have much to recommend it.
I feel quite splendidly - and disproportionately- pleased with myself...