The Magical To-Do List Thought Experiment

Once a year, I write a post that is intended to be more inspirational and thought-provoking than our typical Barnett Strategies, enterprise sales and marketing blogs. So here it is for 2020

This is a thought experiment that I’d love to see readers actually try. Most especially, please add your comments below with your feedback. Share the good, bad or ugly – however you see it.

Thought experiment next: pause all your multi-tasking for just a few minutes as you read this.

Consider the possibility of a Magical To-do List. Everyone has to-do lists in their head or on paper or digitally. And these vary widely in format and effectiveness. But, what if you had a special flavor of to-do list that had the following magical property. Anything you add to this list will happen, auto-magically and guaranteed (unless you don’t even try at all).

So, reflect for a moment on the implications. Throw out the usual practical and pragmatic concerns about time, budget, capacity, resources, feasibility, the laws of physics, cooperation from others and the myriad other real and anticipated blockers that we all use to filter our goal-setting and to-do list making.

If you write it down on your Magical To-do List… It. Will. Happen. No complexities, it just happens.

Now – pause your reading here for a minute and write down for yourself – without filtering – what are the To-do’s that occur to you as you think about this magical list.



Next, now that you wrote down your thoughts for your magical to-do list, or at least thought about it for a second. Consider these issues:

  • How much does this list differ from your ordinary, real-world goals and to-do lists?
  • Why these differences?
  • Did you write down anything that you truly want to do, but have not been pursuing?
  • For list items that are blatantly impossible, is there still some learning and awareness there, with regard to which topics you care most about. Could there be only slightly watered-down versions of that impossible goal, that you really should be going after?

So again, I’d love to see your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below. How did this play out for you? Also, if you’re up for it, please share your own Magical To-do List as well.

My list is below, but don’t read that until you’ve written out yours