“I tell you what, how about I take you out for a MacDonald’s milkshake this week!”“Oh, yes, Daddy. When?” “This week sometime.” “But when this week?” “OK, how about Thursday?” “But when on Thursday?” “Eh, 4pm?” “Great! Thanks Daddy.” We’ve all had similar conversations, haven’t we. Kids sure know how to schedule their “to-do’s.” When Peter Bregman’s wife told him a similar story, it transformed the way he managed his to-do list. Every evening, he would go through the same Q&A with his wife: “O, Hi honey! How did your day go?” “Well, I got a lot done, I suppose, but not as much as I would have liked.” [Sound familiar?] One day she gently suggested that maybe, just maybe, he was being unrealistic in his expectations. She was right, of course. His to-do list had become so long that it had become more like an I’m-never-going-to-get-to-it list. The solution? A child’s question: “When tomorrow?” In it, Bregman found a formula for turning an intention into an action. He calls it “the power of when and where.” He says: “Decide when and where you will do something, and the likelihood that you’ll follow through increases dramatically.” He expounds further:
“When tomorrow” turns “I’m-never-going-to-get-to-it” lists into “to-done” lists.