I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I’m a dietitian nutritionist (we are all type A), or if it’s the fact that I’m a small business owner who likes to do a million things, but staying organized is a must in my life. And to that end, Todoist is basically my Holy Grail of productivity.
For years I’ve used a to-do list on paper but I felt that I was wasting time writing out the list each day. Eventually, I moved on to another task application on my iPhone. Sub-par. So lame. Again, I had to create the task each day and there was no structure to the lists either. But then I heard about Todoist from the queen of #GSD, Meg Biram and realized Todoist was exactly what I needed and had been trying to accomplish the whole time!
The more I realized how much more I got accomplished, and how much more free my brain was from tasks, I thought about how I could use it for health…my own and that of my clients. Here’s a look at what my personal health ‘project’ looks like and some ideas for you to work health into your task list.
I broke up my health project into three main categories: hydration, exercise and appointments but my recommendation to a nutrition client would also to be to include food goals! A good sub list for health might include the following:
Because all of these things play into how I work with a client, they help make sure all the bases are covered before we even start working together.
Hydration: Sure, it may seem simple, but I was just not drinking enough water, even as a health professional. And as someone who is very task oriented, this was my way to make it happen. Based on my specific water bottle size, I calculated my hydration needs and made each bottle into a task. That way, I knew to succeed for the day, I needed to do half by lunch time. It also made me realize habits and situation that were contributing to my dehydration: forgetting to bring water when I go to meetings, and not keeping water at my desk. Problem solved. Feeling hydrated. Check, check, check.
Sleep: Getting 6-8 hours of sleep is a must for health. A task for the sleep category might be reminders to power down for an ‘electronic sundown’, or order new pillows, or to just ‘go to bed by…’.
Exercise: Can’t remember what your trainer has you doing on days when you’re on your own? Put it in Todoist! For me, I break up my exercise into blocks so I can accomplish it, no matter what my crazy schedule looks like. Lifting weights is separate than cardio which is different than days I do YouTube video workouts. For fun online workouts, I can add the direct URLS from Todoist for Google Chrome to my list to remove one more barrier: finding the page. Your exercise project is also a great place to remind you to you sign up for workout classes!
Nutrition: Okay, obviously I love this one. While it’s not on my personal project list because it’s already a major part of my life, this is where I have clients add their goals. And I’m not talking about their end game goal. Getting there requires small changes. From “Pack healthy snack” to “Make dinner plate 1/2 green vegetables” it’s easy to say “yes I did that” or “nope- room to improve!”. All you need to look at is if the task is accomplished or not. There’s no ambiguity. And the best part is I can see the progress. If I have the client share the list with me, I can keep tabs on what they accomplished or where they need my help that week. Adding notes to tasks lets me give suggestions with a click of the button between sessions, meaning instantaneous recommendations for tomorrow. Not only that, but they can add ongoing questions to the list so we can make sure to address them all in our next session. Or what about a healthy grocery list and assigning certain items to your husband/wife for specialty stores?
My personal favorite function within Todoist is scheduling for repeating tasks. Let’s face it, health is an every day thing! When you’re first forming those healthy habits, you need reminding, and this automatically integrates it into your task list. If you upgrade, which admittedly I have not done, you can also prioritize your goals with Filters. Stating goals and intentions means you have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish and to see if your daily actions are helping, or hurting you.
A healthy lifestyle might seem overwhelming, but really it starts with a change of heart, a statement of intention and small tasks every day. Why not integrate those tasks into Todoist?
About the author: Carlene Thomas RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Northern Virginia. Her business, Healthfully Ever After LLC focuses on wedding wellness: helping brides be happier and healthier before and beyond saying “I do.” Carlene also spends her time in the communications world, food styling and testing recipes.