Stop Using To-Do Lists – They’re Guilt Trips From Hell


Most of us
use or used to-do lists to cut back stress ranges and nervousness. To-do lists assist
us with making use of construction and offloading duties from our heads to paper.

as soon as the 60 or so duties are on paper, then what? We by no means end them and
due to this fact, to-do lists are principally guilt journeys. Furthermore, to-do lists stop
us from correctly prioritizing the duties.

However what
are the alternate options?

5 issues with utilizing to-do

To-do lists
are nice instruments to get rid nervousness and scale back stress on the brief run. Nonetheless, there are various
elementary issues with to-do lists that make the instrument counterproductive on
the mid and long term.

Markovitz mentions 5 of those issues in an article on the Harvard Enterprise
Evaluation web site:

  1. Paradox of selection: often to-do lists are fairly lengthy, say 60 gadgets. Nonetheless, our brains can solely correctly deal with about 7 selections with out us getting overwhelmed. As soon as we get overwhelmed, we swap to default behaviors, similar to replying to emails and simply ticking off the primary unimportant merchandise from our to-do lists.
  2. Heterogeneous complexity: On to-do lists there shall be easy duties that solely require us about 5 minutes, and extra advanced duties which is able to take us an hour. We inadvertently have a propensity to complete the 5 minute process, as a result of we are able to then tick it of our record. After we attain our objective, our brains launch dopamine. Dopamine is successful hormone, which makes us really feel good on the brief run.
  3. Heterogeneous precedence: to-do lists won’t make distinction in what’s vital, however not pressing, and vice versa. The consequence is that we are going to deal with the pressing first after which not having sufficient time for the vital process as soon as it’s due.
  4. Lack of context: to-do lists don’t put the duties in context. Do you have to be working additional time to complete the duties or not? With this instrument we don’t have a look at the feasibility of ending all of the duties. The query we don’t ask ourselves is: is it even potential to complete these to-do lists?
  5. Lack of dedication gadgets: we write the duties down after which often end them in random order. Nonetheless, are these duties additionally aligned with brief and long run targets of you and your organization? The duties must be aligned with arduous commitments that you’ve got or that you’ll want to make.

Options for utilizing to-do

I’ve used
to-do lists previously to try to apply some construction in my day-to-day work.
My conclusion is that the to-do lists don’t suffice within the more and more
advanced enterprise environments most of us face at the moment.

In a
dynamic setting, your to-do record will change virtually each hour. Why put in
the work to keep up it, then? I discovered it made me much less versatile, as I needed to
end my record. That is misplaced time and misplaced vitality.

Moreover, if
you see to-do lists as expertise, it’s already fairly outdated, isn’t it?

Should you use
your e-mail utility in the suitable manner, you should use this in numerous methods as
your to-do record. As it’s a must to handle your inbox and calendar anyway, why repurpose
the applying to additionally use it as a to-do record?

Suggestions for utilizing your e-mail utility as your to-do record

To schedule your duties, you’ll want to distinguish between vital and routine duties. I do know, this can be a excessive-over method, however please bear with me.

Use these
two classes to method your inbox as a to-do record as follows:

  • Necessary duties: these are duties that instantly align together with your targets. Make sure that to schedule these in your calendar. By doing this, you’ll mechanically additionally assign a time-slot to work on these duties.
  • Routine duties / answering questions from colleagues: when a colleague asks you a query, that is additionally a manner for that particular person to free area in his/her reminiscence and put it into yours. This will increase your “burden”. This is sensible, as we have to assist one another out.

    Nonetheless, you’ll want to keep in mind that it’s their downside, not yours. Due to this fact, if the query is unclear, ask a query to make clear. This manner, the e-mail is eliminated out of your to-do record and it’s the accountability of your colleague once more.

    Additionally, you may view the emails as gadgets in your to-do record. No want to repeat them in a separate to-do record: your inbox already serves as a to-do record. Prioritize this record mechanically: Make sure that to make use of e-mail guidelines to direct emails out of your supervisor(s) to the folder “precedence”.

    Begin with answering these emails first. Then transfer on to emails out of your crew members. Make a 3rd and closing folder for vital stakeholders. Different emails you reply final. Don’t fear when you neglect these, individuals will discover you if it’s actually vital.

    For extra ideas, additionally be certain that to learn this post.

Suggestions for managing
day-to-day work and long run objectives

The perfect workday

We get overwhelmed if we have now greater than 7 alternate options. Due to this fact, my ideally suited work day is scheduled in such a manner, that I begin with engaged on a troublesome process that can be associated to one in all my targets. I do that as a result of I can suppose most clearly within the morning. Later within the afternoon, I end much less vital duties like answering emails and many others. In fact, this won’t work out like this every day, however preserving this image in thoughts helps me to a minimum of have a few as of late every week.

When it’s
actually busy, I ask myself: “What do I want to complete at the moment to have the ability to go away
at an affordable time?”. This helps to handle my stress ranges.

Plan month-to-month evaluations of your targets and the required to-do’s

Make sure that to periodically plan moments to replicate upon your duties and when you’re doing the suitable issues. Are you continue to on monitor to realize your targets? Do you continue to have ample time to realize all of your targets?

train can be vital to do together with your crew and your supervisor. This manner, you
can validate when you’re nonetheless engaged on the suitable issues and when you can
leverage of one another’s work.

That’s it for this week. Should you favored it, be certain that to hit the Fb button and share it on social media.

When you’ve got
any extra ideas, I’d love you to incorporate them within the feedback under!


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