In the latest issue of his newsletter The Imperfectionist, Oliver Burkeman posits that we should treat our to-do lists more like menus:
One great benefit of doing this more consciously, though – of facing the fact that lists are menus – is that it shifts the source of gratification. The reward of pleasure, or a sense of meaning, no longer gets doled out stingily, in morsels, en route to some hypothetical moment of future fulfillment when the list is finally complete. Instead, it comes from getting to pick something from the menu – from getting to dive in to one of the vast range of possibilities the world has to offer, without any expectation of getting through them all. Which also means you get to have the reward right now.