To-Do Lists Will Just Make You Less Productive, Here’s Why
Oh yes, we all have at least one to-do list. We can even have several ones (bad idea, very bad idea). It is something expected to write down our tasks. Not only that, but we are taught to do it. It is all about order.
Too many things-to-do
It seems like writing things will magically make them happen right? Well, it does not work at all. If you want some metric let me tell you that only 41% of items on to-do lists are ever actually done. That is rather bad, don’t you think?
Not only that but if you also investigate a little more you’ll find some awesome facts regarding to-do lists. One of those truths will confuse you. It happens that a lot of tasks done on a given to-do list are tasks that are not included! I mean, you wrote 5 points, you did 10 but never finished the list! So, what’s the problem? It seems that we get puzzled by this schedule and tend to add more points to our, now endless to-do list.
We get stressed
Our mind just gets stressed with so many things to do and can not get focused in order to take them down one by one. This overwhelming list causes us to get less productive. Besides, we get mental and physically tired. This is a good time to procrastinate, right? So we do it.
Yes, we do procrastinate. It is a monster crushing our productivity. It is our own monster. We create him, we feed him, we keep him alive. But we hate him. Indeed, we can not get rid of him. Somehow we need him. Yes, we need someone to blame. We are not guilty, he is the one to blame. This way we can keep going with our endless to-do list and our “little” procrastination creature.
How to Improve Your Planning by Being Task-Focused
There is a simple way to overcome this situation. You have to be task-oriented, and change how you think about getting things done. You have to stop creating to-do lists and make task lists or objective lists instead.
Let me explain it: When you change how you think that you must finish a task, you’ll train yourself to get a new and healthy habit. A to-do list means nothing, just a way to write what you should remember; but a task list or objective list forces you to start a task and finish it. Nice, right? There is another hidden benefit with a task list. Let’s look at an example and you’ll see it. Suppose I have this to-do list:
- Get a domain name
- Hire a hosting company
- Configure an email account
- Create a site with that domain and hosting
- Tweet it
- Publish it on FB
- Publish it on G+
- Publish it on other SM
Now let’s translate it into a task list:
- Get my new site up and running
- Promote it
So what happened? It looks like I forgot a lot of the to-do’s, right? Actually, I just convert them to tasks. It is pretty obvious that in order to get my site running I must have a domain name, hosting, email account, etc, etc, so what is the point of writing them all down? I summarized them in one task so I must start it and finish it. The same with regards to promoting the new site. Now I have two tasks that I can perform instead of eight to-do-something that I’ll probably never finish.
As you can see, it is all a matter of re-educating our routines and getting into the best habits, plus thinking of tasks as start-and-finish instead of things to do.
Start today and enjoy instant benefits.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com