Recommendations on naming the tasks

How do I correctly write down the tasks in the notebook? It seems to be an easy question.
You just write down what you need to do.

For example:

  • Buy groceries.
  • Pay loan.
  • Study Spanish.

What can be so hard?

But this style of naming tasks has some nuances that might minimize the effect coming from its completion.


  • The tasks must be measurable.


It is important for the evaluation of the task' s completion. What kind of groceries do you need to buy? What if you paid back part of the loan, and the other you plan to give back the next month? Learning one word in Spanish can also count for «studying», you know?

If the name of the task is unmeasurable, it is easy to go easy on yourself. And you probably will. I mean, it does feel nice to tick off boxes in your to-do list. It makes you feel productive even if it is not actually so.


    1. The tasks must be named in the past tense


When you tick the task off it must be completed, right? You've already BOUGHT the groceries. PAID back the loan. STUDIED Spanish.

An indefinite form of the verb makes you feel like the task might still be completed in the future, like you might come back to it at any time.

So let's rename our tasks this way:

  • Bought groceries according to the list. (It the comment to the task leave a to-buy list.)
  • Paid back the loan to Jane fully.
  • Completed a vocabulary test for Spanish.

This way you don't leave yourself any wiggle room to cheat on your tasks and the task itself becomes crystal clear. And completing these correctly formulated tasks gives a much better result!

Accept cookies & closeThis website uses cookies to optimise your online user experience. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the site to work. By continuing to use our site you agree to us using cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy.