But having a plan can dramatically increase the likelihood of sailing past these downers and keeping focused on achieving all you what to do after retirement. We explore the psychology behind the to-do list and look at a few ideas of what might be worth adding to yours.
The power of a plan
Instead of feeling lost and overwhelmed over what to do after retirement, make a list of all you’d like to get done, a bucket list of sorts. The list could include anything from giving back to your community to renovating a house or travelling through Europe. So, is that it? Just make a list and you’ll be fine? Not quite. The list needs to be a little more detailed than that. A BBC article on the psychology of the to-do list expands on the type of to-do list we’re talking about.
Referring to David Allen’s book Getting Things Done (GTD), the article reveals the principle behind arguably the most effective to-do list strategy in existence. This personal productivity system asks you to write down all you need to remember and file it in the right place. Effective filing, as Allen propagates, calls for a three-part filing system: an archive, a current task list and a tickler folder. His advice on how to write a current task list is potentially life-changing. All tasks on this list “are defined by the next action you need to take to progress them.” The process helps us from succumbing to inertia in the face of a task. The article provides an example: “Try picking a stubborn item from your own to-do list and redefining it until it becomes something that actually involves moving one of your limbs. Something necessary but unexciting like “Organise a new fence for the garden” becomes “ring Marcus and ask who fixed his fence”. Or, even better with further specifics on how to move your fingers, “dial 2 626 81 19 and ask Marcus who fixed his fence”. The system breathes new life into that old adage “divide and conquer”. The detailed listing method and filing system is essentially meant to free up your head space and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by the great expanse of possibilities or tasks before you.
The theory is substantiated by the Zeigarnik Effect, “which is what psychologists call our mind’s tendency to get fixated on unfinished tasks and forget those we’ve completed.” For a retiree, it’s easy to forget your countless achievements of your life and instead to worry about all those things you were meant to do.
Retirement is the start of doing all those things you meant to do
For many, travelling features high up on the list of life’s to-do’s. And for the first time in your life, there’s no need to hurry your journeys. Whether it’s joining a voyage to Antarctica, exploring the Inca trail or settling on a Spanish beach at the foothills of the mountains of Valencia, once you start listing the adventures you’re interested in (and listing how to get there in great detail), the harrowing question of what to after retirement suddenly turns into life’s most exciting to-do list.
Instead of worrying about what to do after retirement, consider the bliss of laying back on a balcony overlooking the sea for an extended summer. With beautiful Esmeralda apartments in Calpe available, this could be just the adventure you’ve been waiting for. To find out more about fantastic travel opportunities on Spain’s Costa Blanca and beautiful Esmeralda apartments in Calpe, get in touch with Grupo Esmeralda, leaders in real estate and quality accommodation in the region.