“Write a blog post”. This line sits on my todo-list most days, because I believe I should blog more.
There’s a problem with this todo item though. I’d suggest the problem is not what you think it is. I’d argue it’s not exactly about motivation.
I do write 750 words a day, most days, on an online journal at 750words.com (If you want to write more often, try it. It’s awesome). So there’s plenty of material to write a blog post about. Then it could be about not wanting to share what I write everyday to the world. Even though I would not be comfortable being 100% transparent about my life, I do try my best to be transparent with my aspirations, my ideas and findings on this blog. So it’s something else.
I’d suggest it needs to be simple and specific.
“Start a company” is not a good todo item because it’s so complex. How do you actually go about creating a company? There are thousands of steps along the way. That’s also why most new years resolutions are doomed to failure. “Lose weight” or “make more money” are not actionnable, they’re too complex. Not simple.
On the other hand, “write a blog post” is reasonably simple. It’s not something that’s going to take days to accomplish. However, I think it’s not specific enough. Since I’m assuming you’re not just going to free write about anything and everything, you’d need to have a pretty good idea on what you’re going to write about. So, “write a blog post about the perfect todo item” sounds like a simple enough and specific enough todo item.
Then, what if you don’t know what to write about? At that point, your todo should not be “write a blog post” but “brainstorm blog posts”. I think it’s not specific enough, so I would say “brainstorm blog posts about procrastination” for example. Of course, a good blog writing practice is to have a process to keep a list of topics to write about that you continuously update. In my case, another good way to come up with ideas would be “look at previous week journal entries and extract 3 topics from it”, but it does not apply to everyone.
TL;DR – how do you write a good todo item? My answer: simple and specific.