These Seven To-Do List Mistakes Could Be Derailing Your Productivity - Deepstash
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Writing The List In The Morning

Writing The List In The Morning

Although it might feel natural to create your to-do list first thing in the morning, it's too late.

Writing the list at the end of the day allows you to leave work behind and transition into personal time. 

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Including Too Many Tasks

Ideally, create a ‘top three’ tasks at the beginning of your to-do list. 

Long lists are a problem because most people aren’t aware that “we only have about three to six good hours of work in us each day.”

People also tend to underestimate how long a task takes. 

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Including Someday Items

Aspirational tasks, like writing a book, don’t belong on a to-do list; instead, create a separate bucket list. 

Daily to-do lists should be focused. If you have a big project you want to complete, you can put it on your to-do list if you chunk it out into smaller, more attainable tasks.

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Treating Each Item Equally

If it’s not a priority, it should not be on the list. Follow the 3-3-3 system when writing out your list:

  • Delete three of the items since they probably aren’t that important.
  • Delegate three of the items to someone else, as they are not the best use of your time or talents. 
  • Do three of the items that are the highest priority.

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Not Being Specific

Be as specific as you can be, so that when you’re taking on a task on the fly, you can just get it done. For example, instead of writing “expense report” on your to-do list, write “enter receipts into spreadsheet.”

And skip the vague-sounding action words, such as “plan,” “implement,” or “develop” from your list of tasks. 

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Using The Same List Until It’s Done

Every day changes, so what you did today is not what you will do tomorrow. And what you think you are going to do tomorrow may change before today is over.

Instead, create a fresh list for each day. 

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Not Linking Your List And Calendar

Not Linking Your List And Calendar

“If you have a full calendar and a full to-do list that aren’t connected, you’ll never have time to take action on your to-do list, short of robbing yourself of sleep, family time, weekend relaxation, or vacation.”

Instead, block out time on your calendar to take action on your to-do list items.

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