In my recent series on how to help your inner rebel get things done, I noted that we ought to avoid giving our rebels rules.
The problem is that our rebel can mistake any item on a to-do list as a rule. It can be perceived as a should, a have to, or a must which will really get our rebel's goat. My inner rebel seems to like doing anything BUT what is on a to-do list. That's why using something like The Now Habit where you schedule your leisure time can be very effective.
But if you have a really hardcore rebel like I do, you perceive doing something like scheduling your leisure time as a should, a have to, or a must and you don't want to do that either. Fortunately, there's a very simple solution: consider putting a question mark behind tasks that are likely to rankle your rebel.
Let's say your spouse has asked you to organize and clean a specific room or area of your home. (You're already in trouble, aren't you?) Instead of commanding your inner rebel to get busy on that tomorrow by noting:
Clean out spare bedroom
Notice the psychological difference the question mark makes:
Clean out spare bedroom?
The first is like an order from a drill sergeant, whereas the second is a suggestion from a sheepish subordinate. You still might not do it, but I would argue that you're MORE LIKELY to do it with the addition of a question mark.
I've mentioned before that I love Goodtodo because it's like every task has a question mark behind it. I can quickly and easily send tasks to alternate dates. Recently, I've created an Optional category as well. Adding tasks to that category is also like finishing them with the very respectful question mark.
Would you like to try using a question mark to help you GTD? 🙂