Why Your To-Do List Sucks

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Scenario: "Dude, let's tack another item on our to-do list. We'll finish them someday. High-five!" You know the deal:

  1. You start a to-do list.
  2. You put 908532502 things on the to-do list.
  3. You get overwhelmed.
  4. You start avoiding your to-do list.

Your productivity? Drainage. Though you'll tackle those entries "someday", you'll either:

  1. Procrastinate until some looming threat gets you to do it.
  2. Never do it.

The solution? Shrink your to-do list to bite-sized, manageable entries -- and see your productivity soar like a flying hyena high on chicken wings.

Say NO! to Too Much

Complexity prevents you from working. It's like Bo Schmuck Climber staring at Mount Kilimanjaro -- instead of jumping onto the vicious mountain of tasks, he waits, and waits, and waits for the perfect time (that just never comes). With an enormous to-do list:

  1. You know you'll have to accomplish vicious mountains of tasks.
  2. But the fear of failure scares you from doing anything.
  3. You start avoiding your tasks, waiting for the "perfect time."

Result: Your productivity drains.

Keep Your To-Do Lists Small

Small to-do lists prevents you from overwhelming yourself. (Also, when it gets too big, you know you're spending more time on your to-do list than actually working.) Instead of increasing self-doubts, manageable lists increase your self-confidence:

  • "This is very manageable!"
  • "Simple, I can do this."
  • "No sweat. Piece of cake."
  • "I'm gonna chase down this to-do-list-mutha-*&^%$^, and beat it into submission."

Manageable to-do lists drive you toward action, now.

Eliminate Junk

Twenty-percent of your to-do tasks contains 80% importance. Most tasks dilute what should really get your concentration. Eliminate those suckas. Or, maybe better:

Defer It!

Ba-da-bing! Your main to-do list lets you concentrate on what (1) you can do now, and (2) what's most important. Your deferred list gives you a:

  • "Hmm. Someday, I'd like to get this done -- but not now -- since it ain't so important yet."

You'll start kicking-booty-and-taking-names by filtering out the most important from the less important.

Manageable To-Do Lists = Krr-aa-zzz-y Sex-aay

 

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Posted on July 11

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